John Corner Barnett "Johnny or John C" April 19, 1918 - June 4, 2007 A memorial service will be held June 9th, 10:00 a.m., in the chapel of Hillcrest Mortuary. A graveside will follow at Arvin Cemetery on Bear Mountain Blvd., in Arvin. John C. was born in Ninnekah, Oklahoma to E.T. Barnett and Oliver (Jones) Barnett on April 19, 1918. He passed away quietly on June 4, 2007, in Bakersfield, at the age of 89. John graduated high school in Oklahoma but went back for a 13th year just to play football. When he went back for a 14th year, it was not allowed. College was out of his reach financially. In 1939 he married his first wife, Olga Geneva Grotts. He was working at a diner called the Quick Lunch in Plainview, Texas. Shortly after their first born son, Jerry, was born in 1941, they moved to Bakersfield, CA to pursue their dreams and ambitions. John is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; one sister; his first wife, Gene Berry; his second wife, Eunice Bittle; and his last wife, Jean (Hoosier) Barnett. He is survived by three daughters, Sheila Ryan, Sharon Burgner, and Denise Barnett; three sons, Jerry E. Barnett, Johnny Richard Barnett, and Johnny Robert Barnett. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren, Gary Barnett, Paul Barnett, Ken Barnett, Mike Barnett, Dennis Burgner, Kieth Burgner, Josh Barnett, Honor Levins, Kim Kjelogard, Tammy Simpson, and Jason Barnett. John also has numerous great-grandchildren; and many extended family members. Country music was John's life. He had been entertaining since he was eleven years old. In 1950 he formed a band and played at a country nite club called The Lucky Spot. He played there for 13 years. During that time, members of his band were the likes of Billy Mize, Cliff Crawford, Fuzzy Owen, Gene Moles, Tommy Hays, Bobby Durham, Roy Nichols, Merle Haggard in his early years, and many more too numerous to mention. He actually gave Merle his first job, thus they helped pioneer the "Bakersfield Sound". He also sang on the Cousin Herb TV Show and Jimmy Thomason TV Show. Johnny will not only be missed by his family, he will be missed by the country music world in Bakersfield.
This obituary was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.