REGINA PINKSTON STOKES BARNES
REGINA PINKSTON STOKES BARNES
Guided by the love of Jesus all her life, Regina Pinkston Stokes Barnes peacefully slipped the shackles of this world and entered eternity on Dec. 15, 2020. Known as Pat by friends and family (a name she gave herself after her favorite horse), this child of God watched for Christ’s return her entire life and set an example of devotion and Bible study and service to makind in preparation for this day.
Pat was born April 27, 1921, on the island of Corregidor in the Phillippines, to Eleanor Pinkston Stokes and Col. Charles Albert Stokes, who was stationed there with the Army. In a letter dated May 3, 1921, Pat’s mother spoke prophetic words as she said, “You ought to see Chas grin giggle of his baby. I’m afraid he will spoil her yet, he is so fond of her.” The father-daughter affection was mutual, and Pat would teach her five children to love and admire their Grandfather Stokes as much as they did their other three grandparents, even though he would not live long enough to meet them in this life.
After returning stateside in 1923, the Stokes family followed the Colonel’s career to Ft. Crook, Nebraska; Georgia Forts Benning, McPherson, and Oglethorpe; Charleston, West Virginia; Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and finally Greenville, Georgia. Here in 1936, Col. and Mrs. Stokes retired to The Terrace; and fifteen-year-old Pat attended high school. Being the only teenager in town with a car, Pat loaded up her friends for fun and swimming at the Warm Springs Public Pool where she met a certain young lifeguard who would become the love of her life. After graduating from Agnes Scott College in 1943, Pat married Henry Barnes (her Hank) at The Terrace, and they began a life together that would span almost nine decades and see seventy-seven wedding anniversaries, certainly the love of the century! Like many of this Great Generation, Pat saw vast changes in life, and embraced them all with enthusiasm and fascination.
As the wife of a Second Lieutenant, Pat again encountered Army moves, this time to Ft. Hood, Texas, where Pat volunteered with the Red Cross and worked for the Postal Service forwarding mail to GI’s overseas. Returning to Georgia in 1945, Pat taught high school in Greenville while Hank prepared for and ultimately served in the War in the Pacific. After the war, Pat joined Hank living in Japan; there she gained a love and high regard for the Japanese people.
In 1947, the young couple returned to the States and began civilian life, eventually buying a dairy farm outside of Greenville. Here they built the home that would be remodeled for family expansion, retirement life, and old age. This city girl took to country life where her love for animals flourished, as Rock Acres Farm became a sanctuary for any neglect horse, donkey, dog, or cat that needed a home.
During the three decades after the war, Pat, as housewife and mother, served home and community in various capacities, a few favorites being Sunday School teacher, Cub Scout Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, and long-time historian for the Greenville United Methodist Church, the family church for five generations.
In 1972, the couple sold the dairy and Pat became a social worker for the Department of Family and Children Services, retiring in 1986. Both Pat and Hank enjoyed their retirement years traveling the U.S. and the world. Among favorite places to visit were France, Russia, Alaska, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean Islands, and any location where one of their children lived. The couple also hosted many family reunions at the beach, cruising the ocean, or in the mountains, creating family bonds and memories that are cherished by all.
Pat is survived by her husband Henry; her five children, Charles Barnes (Roxann), Paula “Polly” Holmes (Gene), Nancy Gonzalez (Raul), Betty Smith (JD), and Bill Barnes (Carolyn); nineteen grandchildren, thirty great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter and one on the way; a brother-in-law Paul Barnes (Reena); six nieces and multiple great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, and cousins-in-law, all of whom Pat loved and counted as blessings in her life.
And this large family loved their matriarch and will miss the fun and dynamic energy that she brought to this world for almost one hundred years. So we do not say goodbye, but only farewell until we meet again in the Heavenly realm! As Mom taught us to say, Marantha! Marantha! Marantha! Come, Lord Jesus!
In lieu of flowers, you may honor Pat with a memorial gift contribution to the Greenville United Methodist Church or an animal charity of your choice.
Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting www.shlagrange.com.
Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, Georgia 30240 (706) 884-8636.