Robert Romie Barnes, 89, of Fort Yates, took his journey, December 23, 2022 at Sunset Drive Care Center, Mandan, ND.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday, December 29, 2022, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, ND. Interment will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Thursday.
Robert Romie Barnes was born to Romie McGraw Barnes & Alice Harris Lovejoy in Ft Yates, ND. Our father was known to many as Tootle or Cowboy. He grew up on his mother’s land known as Alice’s Ravine near Cannonball, ND. He attended school until the ninth grade at Ft Yates High School. Robert was a hard worker and a ranch hand tending the cattle for many area ranchers. Our dad said the scar on his lip was the result of a team of horses running off with him and put his wagon thru the fence line when he was just a little guy. He did chores for his mother to earn his first horse; so, he could put it and him to work. His childhood was difficult, but to him it was what it was, and he learned the value of making your own way…
Dad joined the US Army during the Korean Theatre and served his country volunteering for the most dangerous assignments such as Missile anti-aircraft. In 1947, he married Josephine Gertrude Thomas and to this union Roberta, Duane & Bert were born. Robert rodeoed for many years and rode saddle bronc. He also went to work on the Dams being created by the Pick-Sloan Act. He worked on them all from the Garrison to the Oahe to Big Bend & Fort Randall Dam. In 1971, he left South Dakota for St Paul, MN, to become an Ironworker in building many of the high rises in the Twin Cities… He & Josephine divorced in 1977. His love of horses led him to the Horse tracks such as Canterbury Down & Shakopee Downs; he enjoyed the dog races too! Competitive by nature he was not one to not wager a bet to prove he knew his horses & man’s best friend. Robert was an avid Chess player in his free time and could run a computer as good as anyone in the next generation and the next for that matter: Robert lived in the Twin Cities until 2006 when he returned to the Dakotas to finish out his life among his people on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation where he was a descendant of Chief Red Thunder & Rain in the Face as well as Chief Red Cloud as his Grandfather Jerome Ace Harris aka Chief Red Cloud was a paid performer in many Wild West Shows such as Ranch 101. His wife is believed to be the daughter of the Chief Red Cloud though this is in theory only… nonetheless Robert always loved his people and his childhood home and returned to her to live out his life there with his dog, Molly… I wish I could say he died with her by his side… he loved that dog, and he left this world with her in his cante (heart) ♥️. Doksa Ake’ Cowboy…We are honored to have been a part of you. You live on in all of us, Cowboy: 🦅🪶♥️🙏🏽
Robert is survived by: Roberta Barnes, Brooklyn Park, Mn, Dawn Luger, Ft. Yates (Bruz) & their son, Britt, Connie BigEagle-Spaid (Robbie) Blunt, SD & their children, Ross & Adrienne; Lynn Stover of Rapid, SD, (Ben) & their children, Shane, Tame, Nicolette & Aaliyah; Heath BigEagle & his children, Natasha, Tasheena, Reece, Haley & Angelina; James White, Ft Yates & his children, Jesse & Charmaine, Denise Lightning Fire & Family of Eagle Butte, SD, Angela LeClaire of Sioux Falls SD.
Robert is preceded in death & reunited with: his mother & father, Romie Barnes & Alice Harris Lovejoy; wife, Josephine Barnes; infant son, Robert; sons, Duane Barnes Siren, WI and survived by his children Bert and his wife, Trish & sons Rhett & Reese, his twin, Robert and his wife, Kelley and kids Summit & Brooks; his daughter, Elizabeth and her daughters Rose, Daisy & Noella, Lawrence Janis & his daughters, Lacey & Julia, Kanani Enos & Tauren Brown, Infant daughters, Mary 1 &Mary 2 BigEagle ; daughters, Stephanie BigEagle (survived by her son Karlton Haynes) & Grandson Tanner Reid BigEagle (survived by his children Jayzon Wright & Hunter BigEagle) & Brenda GoodFace Lower Brule, SD.
A Memorial will be established to Benefit The Fort Yates Rodeo Grounds & The Robert Barnes Memorial Rodeo School… Our gift to you Cowboy, We Love You.