Barnes remembered

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A former advertising sales representative for the Suffolk News-Herald was remembered this week as hardworking, devoted and conscientious.

Sue Barnes, who passed away Friday at the age of 70, worked for the newspaper for 30 years. She also was heavily involved in the community as a member of Oakland Christian Church, where she served in a variety of roles, as well as with the Junto Women’s Club.

“When I think about Sue, I think about honesty, integrity and conscientiousness,” said Billy Chorey Sr. of Chorey and Associates Realty, who was one of Barnes’ clients. “I could always trust her. When she said she was going to do something with our ads, she did it. Sue was a kind, compassionate and, I think, extremely competent person who was always trying to do the best job for her client.”

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Barnes worked at a bank as a young woman and then took about 10 years off to stay at home with her children. When she was ready to go back to work in 1983, an acquaintance who worked at the newspaper suggested she fill an open clerical position, according to a story the News-Herald ran upon her retirement in 2013.


It wasn’t long before Barnes was selling ads for the News-Herald and its adjunct publications.

“It would be interesting to me to know how many ads she actually handled in those years,” the Rev. Wayne Gardner said Wednesday during a service for Barnes at Oakland Christian Church. “She did it and did it well.”

“She’s one of the most congenial, accommodating individuals I ever had the good fortune to work with,” said Mike Duman of Mike Duman Auto Sales, another of Barnes’ longtime clients. “We had a really good relationship.”

Duman said he was always happy to see Barnes walk through the door of his dealership.

“She was there to do a job, but she was very accommodating in the way that she did it and you always felt she had your best interest at heart,” Duman said. “That type of service is very hard to come by in today’s time.”

Barnes’ husband, Joe Barnes, said his wife loved her work.

“She loved dealing with the people,” he said.

The couple met at the glass shop where he was working when she came to get a panel cut. They were married for 37 years.

Barnes’ children, Joe Milburn and Melissa Milburn, benefited from Barnes’ community service as a den mother and troop committee member for Pack 10 as well as other roles.

She was conscientious in all of her work, even what she did for the church, Gardner said. He recalled the first time he met her, they were working in the kitchen at the church, chopping celery for Brunswick stew.

“She, once in a while, would eye me to see if I was doing it right,” Gardner said. “She loved the church. She was happy if she was busy.”

Joe Barnes said his wife loved to help make candy at the church for fundraisers, as well as making pies for Easter.

“She enjoyed doing what she was doing down at the church,” he said. “She just couldn’t sit still. She had to be doing something. She immersed herself in things at church. That kept her occupied.”

Sue Barnes had been fighting cancer that was diagnosed in July, her husband said.

In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by two grandchildren and a brother. Memorial donations in Barnes’ memory may be made to the building fund of Oakland Christian Church.