Dr. Bruce Wayne Barnes

1935 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Dr. Bruce Wayne Barnes Obituary
Dr. Bruce Wayne Barnes

Dr. Bruce Wayne Barnes, 78, of Akron passed away May 27, 2014 of natural causes. He was born in Erlanger, N.C. on July 22, 1935 to the late Carlye and Clara Barnes.

After high school graduation Bruce entered the U.S. Army where he served for three years. Growing up in the "Bible Belt" of North Carolina, he spent a lot of time in church and Sunday school where the ever present map of the Middle East ignited his passion for travel and education. He became a political and historical scholar of Islam, the Middle East, Biblical Archaeology and Thomas Wolfe.

Dr. Barnes was a soldier, a Blue Hose/Presbyterian College football player, Fulbright scholar, teacher, lecturer, author, missionary, avid archeologist and consummate curious traveler. An avid avocational archaeologist, he dug in Petra, Jordan, Tel Dor, Israel, Belize and several sites in Ohio. He traveled to 135 countries on every continent in the world, including Antarctica. With his ready smile and quick wit, he shared his knowledge and passion for life with every step of his journeys. He spoke German, French, Hebrew, and Arabic and in his words "a little bit of a lot of languages."

He studied at 18 Universities around the globe. His extensive studies in Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, England and Australia earned him the following degrees: B.A. Presbyterian College; Clinton, South Carolina, B. A. University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, M.A. Appalachian State University, ED.S. Kent State University, Ph.D. Pacific Western University; Doctor of Philosophy with a major in International Relations; Zertifikat Deutsch Als Fremdsprache, Goethe Institute; Lauenburg, Germany, Fulbright Scholar to Egypt in 1968 and 1981, Fulbright Teacher in Australia for two years in 1971-72, Certificate of Islamic Studies, Islamic Teaching Center, Plainfield, Indiana, Robert A. Taft Scholar in Politics, George Washington, University Outstanding Educator Award 1986, Assistant to the Dean University of Akron's Classrooms Around the World 1975, 1976, 1977, Biblical Archeology Lecturer at Oxford, England.

A beloved teacher and lecturer, he taught in Akron at Ellet High (1968), Jennings Middle School (1973/74) and at North High for 15 years. (1974-1989), the University of Akron and at Akron Jewish Community High School.

He authored five books on the Middle East, Islam, German heritage in Ohio and North Carolina. A deeply dedicated aficionado of Thomas Wolfe, Bruce traveled extensively pursuing the route of Wolfe's prolific / tragic literary life. At his passing he was in the process of writing a book on Thomas Wolfe's life and literary career.

He was affiliated with the following organizations: Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Scotsman Club (Presbyterian College Football Club), Zion Lutheran Church Akron, Ohio, Archeological Society of Ohio/ Cuyahoga Valley Chapter, Thomas Wolfe Society. Made Shahada.

Dr. Bruce Barnes deeply lived/thrived/laughed/played/hungered for World Peace, in his words, "We should take seriously the fact that religions share in the responsibility for bringing peace to our torn and warring world. That peace begins with us."

He is survived by his three sons, Jalaluddin Khidr, Martin and Jan Barnes; and grandchildren, Yusef Al-Faris and Hanifa Khidhr.

In lieu of a service the family requests donations may be made to St. Joseph Indian School, P.O. Box 326 Chamberlain, S.D. 57326, 1-800-342-2235 www.

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on June 22, 2014
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