Barney Nixon Gayler Jr. passed from this earthly life on Oct. 2, 2013, at the age of 84 at his home in Josephine.
Barney was born April 3. 1929, in Wharton, spending most of his youth in Wylie. Sitting with Barney on a Texas evening could guarantee a good sharing of his life experiences.
Barney grew up on the Gayler family farm which eventually became part of Lake Lavon.
At about 17 years of age, Barney hired on as a scraper driver to build the Lake Lavon dam, breaking his thumb on the very first day, but with his notorious determined spirit he pressed on to finish his tasks.
Barney hitchhiked to California as a teen to visit family, served his country seven years as a radio man proficient in Morse code in the U.S. Navy, was at the top of his class on joining the Dallas Police Department, knew Jack Ruby and ate at the Carousel Club. He later became the first police chief of Wylie.
He worked for years as a ranch foreman in Texas and Oklahoma and sang in one of the top country bands in the area. Barney then moved to Bogata, bought a drive-in restaurant in which people drove for miles for his pit BBQ, and continued farming and ranching.
He also did not let a ninth grade education hinder him from becoming bank vice president in Bogata where he served for 10 years.
Upon retiring, Barney and his beloved wife of 42 years, Verena, traveled the U.S. and Canada in their RV until his declining health prevented them from continuing.
He and Verena finally settled down in Caddo Mills, until buying their home in Josephine this past April.
As a huge Cowboy fan, Barney loved and respected Coach Landry. The headline in the Dallas paper when Tom Landry died was “A Man of Honor.” Barney loved his children and raised them well. He loved his wife and gave her everything he had to give. Barney lived a life of hard, honest work and relished it. He was a true, honest man. He is what his family likes to call — “A Man of Honor.”
Barney’s brood consisted of seven children, Gary Gayler, Roberta Gayler Creel, Alan Blakely, Sherry Blakely Huddleston, Barney Gayler III (Trey), Anita Blakely Riley and Gaylene Blakely Smith; 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; one brother, Glenn Gaylor; and a sister, Jane Hughs.
Services will be on Saturday at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bogata with Rev. Jeff Duvall officiating. Burial will follow in Bogata Cemetery escorted by the Patriot Riders.
Wood Funeral Homes in Bogata have charge of the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bogata Cemetery Association, in care of Wood Funeral Homes, P.O. Box 217, Bogata, 75417.