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 • Alton
 • Halifax County
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Joseph McArthur ""Mike"" Barnett
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Birth: Feb. 12, 1943
Durham County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Dec. 24, 1999
Durham County
North Carolina, USA

Mike was an avid animal lover. He owned & operated Black Walnut Stables in Alton, Virginia. There he bought, sold, trained horses & gave riding lessons to both young & older folks who didn't know how to ride. The paint horse he rode his beloved Amigo & Mike were a regular sight on trail rides all over VA & NC.

It was an annual event for Black Walnut Stables to host a benefit trail ride for a friend in need. The last ride he had was for Debbie Burney of Raleigh NC, who had taken a fall on a ride a few months earlier & broke her back.

While on a trail ride there was a wagon being pulled by 2 Haflingers. The wagon, driver & horses fell over sideways into a creek. (It was in November or December so it was really cold.) One of Haflingers was on the verge of drowning, as the other one was laying on top of him & could not get up. Mike, without thinking of his own well being, jumped in the creek and held the horses head out of the water. While doing this he was instructing the rest of us as to what to do to get this wagon & horse out of trouble (the driver was freaked out but safe.) With the help of several other riders we were able to get the animals loose from the wagon & get the wagon set back upright. I personally witnessed this entire ordeal. It was amazing to me how fast he leapt into action to save this horse. But then that was just the way Mike was, immediately ready to help where needed.

When hurricane Fran came through Raleigh it left a path of destruction. In that path was J & H Stables that is owned & operated by Jean & Hilton Lamm. The storm tore up many of the stables that housed the horses.

The next morning before the sun came up Mike was pulling in the driveway & ready to go to work. For the next 3 days Hilton, Mike, Dex Gates, and many more worked feverishly repairing the barns. When all the work was done Hilton tried to pay him for his time, but as any friend would, Mike refused.

He was a well loved man & was there for those that were in need of a helping hand.

Mike was the 5th child of 11 born to James Clifton "Jimmy" Barnett of Franklin County, NC & Louise Anne "Billie" Medlin of Nash County, NC. When he was 2 yrs old Mike won the "Prettiest Baby in Durham" contest.

On December 15, 1999 Mike was ambushed in his mile long driveway by 3 young men, Micheal Moore/Jason Loftis/Chris Loftis & a woman Nikki Gowen Sandell - who had worked on the horse farm that summer. They shot him in the back of the head as he was going down the drive, robbed him, & left him for dead. Mike survived for 9 days in Duke Hospital before passing away on Christmas Eve morning. He is buried at Black Walnut Stables located at 2018 Traynham Grove Rd., Alton, VA. He lays to rest in the horse pasture under the apple tree, which is where he wanted to be buried.

Mike was led home by his family & friends riding horses as the hearse brought him down the drive. Of course his beloved Amigo led the pack being ridden by his only daughter, Lavonne Barnett Wren, with Deonna Wren, his only grand-daughter, following. His grand-daughter was the apple of his eye.

Mike touched everyone he met & will live on in our hearts as long as we all live. 
Family links: 
  James Clifton Barnett (1915 - 1978)
  Louise Anna Medlin Barnett (1914 - 1999)
  Margaret Gray Barnett Flessner (1933 - 1993)*
  James Barnett (1941 - 2015)*
  Joseph McArthur Barnett (1943 - 1999)
*Calculated relationship
Black Walnut Stables Grounds
Halifax County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Lavonne Barnett
Record added: Jan 17, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 103720515
Joseph McArthur Mike Barnett
Added by: Lavonne Barnett
Joseph McArthur Mike Barnett
Added by: Lavonne Barnett
Joseph McArthur Mike Barnett
Added by: Lavonne Barnett
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- Anne Wyatt
 Added: Mar. 5, 2014
- Eugenia
 Added: Feb. 26, 2013

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