1917 - May 2, 2009
John Ray Barlow was born Feb. 19, 1917, in Marysville, Texas, to Walter and Ludie Pybas Barlow.
He died May 2, 2009, in Grand Junction, of complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was the youngest of seven siblings, all the others having preceded him in death. He spent his boyhood in Medicine Mounds, Texas.
Johnnie enlisted in the U.S. Army in spring 1941. He was assigned to the 885th Ordnance Heavy Automotive Maintenance Company, training in Fort Bliss, Texas.
In 1943, he was shipped out to the China-Burma-India theater, servicing equipment for the building of the Ledo Road. He was discharged honorably in 1944 for medical reasons. His membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, DAV, and his 885th group were important to him.
In 1946, he moved to Cliff, N.M., to open a tavern.
In 1948, he married his life companion, Jeanne Trammell.
The couple had three children: Shannon (Derwin) Gore, of Hayden; Kevin (Paulette) Spitzer, of rural Mancos; and Krista (David, deceased) Spitzer, of Cedaredge. He has four grandchildren: Krista (Jeff) Gore Smith, Shawn Spitzer, Brooke Barlow, and Tegan (Sean) Barlow Steimel.
He also has six great-grandchildren.
Johnnie was an entrepreneur, opening and operating several small businesses through the years.
His main occupation was with his trucking business. He was among the early uranium haulers throughout the Canyonlands and the Four Corners area.
The last 12 years, he worked as a Port of Entry Officer in Cortez. The Barlows homesteaded a farm on Summit Point in southeastern Utah. He also designed and built the home in Dove Creek, himself, with unpaid and welcome help from friends and neighbors.
Johnnie was a man of honesty, integrity and intelligence.
Jeanne said he still surprised her with his wisdom and humor, even after 61 years of marriage. His children remember him as a giving father, patient teacher, and lifetime friend. Each grandchild was made to feel smart, special and loved.
Johnnie took up golfing in his 50s and quickly became a bogey player. Golf was his favorite pastime, and he played regularly until he was 90 years old.
In his later life, he became legally blind. Because of that, he attended the VA's blind rehab program in Tucson, Ariz. At 85, he learned to use a computer. He enjoyed playing checkers and reversi on the Internet and communicating with friends and family by e-mail. Since 1995, Johnnie suffered emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma, with great patience and endurance.
After retirement, the Barlows moved to Casa Grande, Ariz., where they lived about 20 years. In 2006, they moved to Grand Junction to be nearer their children on the Western Slope.
Cremation has taken place, and no services are planned at this time. Contributions may be made to the Dove Creek Ambulance, Community Banks of the Rockies, P. O. Box 486, Dove Creek, CO 81324 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090 B N. 12th St., Grand Junction, CO 81506.