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Billy Darwin Barr

Billy Darwin Barr, 92, of Sargent, Missouri, passed away on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at 1:55 p.m. at Willow Care Nursing Home in Willow Springs, Missouri.

Billy was born on September 6, 1922 in Millersview, Texas, the son of William A. Barr and Sarah Agnes Jennings Barr. They lived in Millersview with his sister Thelma and brothers Taylor and Jewel Barr. Billy’s mother, Agnes passed away when he was six years old. With their father unable to care for them, Taylor looked after Billy even to the extent of throwing rocks at jackrabbits, killing them in order to feed Billy and himself. The boys were later taken in by their sister Thelma and her husband, Earl Conley. Thelma and Earl looked after Taylor and Billy until they later moved to their Uncle Walter and Aunt Johnnie Barr’s in Concho, Texas. Billy graduated from Paint Rock High School in Concho, Texas, along with his friend Garland Crouch. He attended junior college in San Angelo, Texas.

On June 22, 1946 in San Angelo, Texas, Billy married Wanda Joyce Powell. They lived in Concho, Texas, and Billy was in the cattle business with his brother Taylor as well as owning a store and post office and serving as postmaster. They bought land in Brownwood, Texas, and later moved to Cabot, Arkansas in 1956.

In 1958, Billy and Wanda had their son, Bernal Darwin Barr. In 1965 they moved to Sargent, Missouri, purchasing land and continuing in the cattle business as well as doing tractor repair in his garage. Billy had a love for Oliver tractors that later led to the opening of Barr-B Tractor in 1979 on his land in Sargent. His son Bernal later joined him in working the farm and the family tractor business. Billy was known for being fair and honest in his dealings. Friends said “Billy always had a smile on his face” and that “he never had anything bad to say about anyone.” They’ve also said that “if there’s an Oliver or White tractor in this area, it was probably at Barr-B-Tractor at some point.” Wayne Polm worked for Billy on his farm and with the tractor business for over 40 years, and Wayne’s son Bill Polm worked for Billy for close to 30 years as well. Barr-B Tractor was open for over 30 years.

Billy was an active, lifelong, baptized member of the Church of Christ. He loved Gene Autry, westerns, and was always proud to serve up his black Angus cattle on the barbecue for any guests. Breaking his ankle when he was 22 years old led to Billy never being seen without his cowboy boots on henceforth.

Billy Barr was preceded in death by his mother, Sarah Agnes Jennings Barr, and father, William A. Barr; his sister, Thelma Barr Conley; and his brothers, Herbert, Taylor and Jewel Barr.

He is survived by his wife, Wanda Barr; his son, Bernal and wife Stella; grandchildren, Casey Lynne Barr and Janelle Barr Bassett and husband, Colin; great-grandchildren, Edith L.W. Bassett, Joan L.B. Bassett, Lyric R.W. Barr and Silas B Ketchum. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 18, 2015, at the funeral chapel with Larry Yarber officiating. Interment was in Sargent Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool, Missouri. Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.

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