(1948 – 2019)
Dena Barnes spent all of her employment years with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System after receiving undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Auburn.
From an early age, Barnes was inspired by her parents to look around at all the wonderful resources available and use them to meet her needs. As a result, her life was grounded in an adventure of discovering what was available in relation to what was needed. Later on, when Dena was in the fourth grade, she met an outstanding 4-H Leader, Mrs. Exa Till, who further encouraged and inspired her to use her resources making her best endeavors even better. She did this with enthusiasm overflowing to all those whom she encountered.
After college graduation, she began her career with Cooperative Extension in Butler County and soon transferred to Pike County, where she served as County Extension Agent until her transfer to Lee County in 2004. There she served as a Regional Extension Agent in Family Financial Programs until her retirement. Throughout her 36-year Extension career, Barnes worked in both adult and youth programs, winning numerous awards for her efforts. As much as she enjoyed all aspects of Extension programming, she enjoyed work with the 4-H program most.
Barnes had artistic, creative talents that her friends and co-workers envied. Her handmade items, especially the carved walking sticks, were always hot items at auctions for Extension professional associations. Many of us have paintings, decorated gourds, quilts, hand-made pottery. Those special carved walking sticks are treasured memories of Dena and will remind us of her each time we look at them.
Barnes possessed all the characteristics of a dedicated Extension professional. She was energetic, creative, and knew how to make program participants feel comfortable and eager to learn. She also knew how to boost the morale of her co-workers by saying just the right thing. That was the professional Dena that we knew.
Our friend Dena was caring and supportive Could quietly light up a room with her very dry sense of humor and that great laugh. That is the woman we miss most.
Dena Barnes is survived by her beloved sister, Diana Barnes, her brother, Billy (Teresa) Barnes, and five nieces and nephews.
The Alpha Pi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi honors and remembers Dena Lee Barnes by placing her name on the dedicatory plaque of the ACES Memorial Chapel.
Chapel Plaque Inscription Number: 643