Easley community leader Barnes dies



EASLEY — A longtime Easley businessman and community leader will be laid to rest this afternoon.

Garnet Barnes, who founded Barnes Real Estate, Barnes Insurance Agency and was a co-founder of Smithfields Country Club, passed away on Monday at age 88.

Barnes, an Easley High School graduate and Easley Athletic Hall of Famer, was a member of First Baptist Church of Easley for 78 years. Funeral services will be held at the church at 2 p.m. today (Wednesday), with entombment to follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park Mausoleum.

In addition to his business endeavors, Barnes served on various committees in Easley and the Upstate.

He was a trustee of Furman University, his alma mater, a member of the board of trustees of the Baptist Health Care System for 27 years, a founding member of the Palmetto Health Board of Directors, a founder and director of Peoples National Bank, a member of the S.C. State Development Board and a past president of both the Pickens County Country Club and Smithfields Country Club.

A recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, Barnes is survived by his wife, Polly, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

Flowers will be accepted; however, memorials may be made to “For Generations to Come Fund” at First Baptist Church of Easley, 300 East First Avenue, Easley, SC 29640.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Downtown, which is assisting the family.