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Bobby Barnhill

1936 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Bobby Barnhill Obituary
Bobby Gwyn Barnhill

Bobby Gwyn Barnhill died peacefully at home, and on her own terms, on November 24, 2017. She looked forward to joining Jimmy Ray, her husband of 54 years, who passed away in 2007. After learning of her terminal diagnosis in September 2017, she spent her final days as she spent her life, caring for family and friends, and even making new friends with the people she met in hospice and home health care. Her passing came after one last Thanksgiving celebration, lovingly planned by Bobby.

Bobby was a third-generation New Mexican, born in Las Cruces, NM on January 28, 1936, to Robert and Gwyn Taylor. Her great-grandparents settled in White Oaks, NM and eventually ran a successful hardware store in Carrizozo, NM. She was raised in Albuquerque, and after skipping a grade, graduated a year early from Albuquerque High School in 1952. She attended the University of New Mexico for one year. A self-described nosey person, she intended to be a court reporter but fate took her a different direction when she was asked out for coffee by Jim Barnhill, a fellow student in a geology class.

Bobby and Jim were married in 1953. While Jim finished his degree, Bobby went to work as a soda jerk at Darrow's Ice Cream. She never returned to UNM but she made sure that her four children had college educations. In the 1960s, both Bobby and Jim began working for Jim's parents' business: Barnhill Bolt Company, Inc. Bobby and Jim were a great team and helped establish Barnhill Bolt as a leader in the fastener industry. Bobby was the first woman president of the Western Association of Fastener Distributors and was the only person to ever be elected to two terms. In 1997, Bobby and Jim were inducted into the National Fastener Hall of Fame in Columbus, OH, as the "First couple of Fasteners." In her 50s, Bobby educated herself on computer technology and helped develop the first computer program being used in the fastener industry; she also became an Enrolled Tax Agent so she could handle the increasingly complicated tax forms needed by the growing business.

Bobby was an active person in her community and in her children's lives. She was a member of Highland Baptist Church and at one time, served as director of both the Sunday School Department and the Vacation Bible School program. She served as Room Mother and was a Girl Scout troop leader. She was the president of Zia Little League's Women's Auxiliary. She helped to establish the first snack bar at Hope Christian School and traveled around the state to many soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball games. She was active in organizing and supporting Jim's 45th Military Police reunion group in Oklahoma for more than 50 years. Bobby would always say that she never sought leadership positions, but was recommended and encouraged by Jim and those who knew her. She gave 100% to every endeavor.

Bobby took great joy in hosting gatherings in her home. She particularly enjoyed having an open house on Christmas Eve with New Mexican food, home-made biscochitos and luminarias. She made sure everyone left with a present and a full stomach. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, canning what she and Jim had grown, their cabin in the Pecos wilderness, genealogy, computer and card games, shopping, and crossword puzzles. She organized family trips that created many happy memories for her children and grandchildren. When Bobby and Jim semi-retired from Barnhill Bolt, they enjoyed traveling by RV and cruise ships around the world with Jim's sister and her husband, Mary and Dick Silver. After Jim passed away, Bobby liked to make arts and crafts projects that she would give as gifts or sell at retirement communities, babysitting and spoiling her grandkids, and a good conversation. She also rescued two miniature poodles that became her loving companions and guards, napping next to her to the end.

Bobby was a kind and loving soul. If you met Bobby twice you were a life-long friend. She loved people and enjoyed talking with everyone. She gave good advice and tried always to find the positive in any person. She touched a lot of people's lives and she will be greatly missed.

Bobby was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; her beloved daughter, Dr. Jamie G. Barnhill; her parents, Robert and Gwyn Taylor; her brother, Robert Taylor; and her in-laws, J.C. and Eleanor Barnhill. She is survived by Joan "Korkie" Kerkin, Ross and Connie Barnhill, and their children, Rhonda and Ryan; Lynn Barnhill and her children, Mayzie and Ava; John and Shannon Barnhill, and their children, Jacob and Emma; and Bobby's personal assistant and dear friend, Gurudarshan Khalsa.

Services will be on Saturday, December 2, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at FRENCH-University. Pallbearers will be Ryan Barnhill, Jacob Barnhill, Sebastian Barnhill, Tom Wilson, Carlos Apodaca, and Vince Mouser. Honorary pallbearer will be Mayzie Barnhill Wilkinson. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to

Highland Baptist Church,


Joy Junction,


New Mexico PBS,


or St. Jude,


Please visit our online guestbook for Bobby Gwyn at

Published in Albuquerque Journal from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, 2017
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