Charles "Chuck" Barnes, age 86, of Willmar, died Wednesday, February 12, at his home in Willmar surrounded by loved ones.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m. Monday, February 17, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Interment will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Raymond at a later date. Visitation will be 3-5 p.m. Sunday, February 16, at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and will continue one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Monday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
Chuck was born on June 19, 1933, in Grogan, Minnesota, one of seven children born to Frank and Anna (Kolb) Barnes. Chuck’s early years were spent living on a farm near Lake Lillian, Minnesota, and he was baptized at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Lake Lillian. In his early teens, he moved with his family to New London, where the family built and managed a roller rink. Chuck had to leave high school and support his family due to a serious injury his father suffered. While living in New London, Chuck met his love of his life Ruby Ann Burchill and they were married on October 9, 1951 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kandiyohi, Minnesota. This marriage was blessed with five children; Delora, Deloris, Jeffery, James and Jerold.
Chuck was involved in dairy farming, first moving to a farm near Kerkhoven, Minnesota in 1962. Chuck and Ruby Ann later purchased and moved their farm near Svea, Minnesota. Early upon purchasing the farm, Chuck built a milking parlor system, first of its kind in the area. Chuck was named conservation farmer of the year in Kandiyohi County in 1970 and to the Soil and Water Conservation District in 1972. He was true steward of his land. During this time in Svea, Chuck and Ruby Ann purchased another farm near Atwater on Lake Elizabeth.
In 1978, Chuck and Ruby Ann sold their land and purchased a hobby farm near Eagle Lake. Chuck began working for the Willmar Livestock Auction, delivering and picking up cattle for sale. Chuck also began to dabble in Exotic animals. He at one time had buffalo, emus, wallabies, razorback pigs, zebras, horses, donkeys, exotic fowl, and llamas. Chuck finally found his calling raising llamas and was the first llama breeder in Minnesota. His herd of llamas at one time numbered thirty five. His llamas were prized animals at auction and were highly sought after from people all across the United States due to their gentleness and beauty. Chuck and Ruby Ann sold their Eagle lake farm in 1998 and purchased a farm just east of Willmar. It was there that Chuck subdivided the farm and became a developer. He saved the prime part of the farm and built a home and a barn, which was built to specifically to raise llamas. The market ceased to be lucrative, so Chuck and Ruby invested their time in attending auctions and selling the items they purchased at garage sales. The sales became very popular for the quality and priced of the items they sold. In 2014, Chuck and Ruby sold the Kandiyohi farm and moved to their home in Willmar, where he resided at the time of his passing. Chuck loved his family and adored his grandchildren and great grandchildren. They always brought great joy and happiness to his life.
Chuck is survived by his loving wife of 68 years: Ruby Ann (Burchill); two daughters: Delora (Ken) Walters of Willmar, MN and Deloris (Charles) Olson of Farwell, MN; and two sons: James (Annette) of Darwin, MN and Jerold (Carrie) of Kandiyohi, MN. Also surviving are 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son: Jeffery in 1971; his parents: Frank and Anna (Kolb) Barnes; brothers: Francis and Fred; and sisters: Mabel Randt and Anna Skinness.
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