Eldon Wayne Barenberg, Sr. (you probably just knew him as Wayne or “Big” Wayne) entered eternal life on Sunday, 19 September 2021. His spirit is carried on by his wife and companion of 55 years, two children, five grandchildren, four great grandchildren, two surviving siblings, and an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life.
Dad was born on 31 August, 1941, in Oberlin, Kansas. He grew up on the family farm in Chester, Arkansas and attended Mountainburg High School, where rumor has it he had to walk five miles both ways, up-hill and in the snow. He enlisted in the Army at age 20 and served his nation from Fort Hood, Texas. The Army taught him a couple things that would forever shape his life…how to cut hair and how to fix just about anything with an engine. Ok, maybe that first one impacted me more than him! Anyway, after the Service, Dad continued to pursue his new love in Arkansas and Wyoming until he found his last true love in 1967. Together, they built a new life together, they endured hardships and they shared in each other’s success, they raised a family, and they travelled the world.
We were all blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Dad during his 80 years, among them: play hard but you better be home before dark. Don’t down-shift when you stop, and change your oil every three thousand miles. Take pride in everything you do, even if you are just taking out the trash. Do what you say and say what you mean. If you want to go anywhere in life, start by learning how to read a map. Bobbers are better that trotlines and never, never, never trust a snapping turtle. Even if you are driving the biggest vehicle on the road, you still need to leave yourself an out. Wake up early and don’t go to bed until your work is done. Eat everything on your plate but don’t feel bad if you start with dessert. And no matter what life throws your way, there is always reason to smile.
Dad used to say “I always try to do my part and a little more.” Those of us lucky enough to have known him carry on this legacy every day…I can’t possibly think of a more fitting way to measure a man!
He is survived by his wife and favorite dance partner, Patsy Lee Barenberg, and two children: Sherri (husband Roy, children Krystal, Ben, and Nathan); and Terry (wife Tina, daughter Jordan); siblings Shirley and Zella; and many great grandchildren, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and family, too numerous to list but not forgotten. Dad is reunited with his generous and loving parents, Lavertis and Agnes Barenberg; and his eldest son, Eldon Wayne Barenberg, Jr. He is also preceded in death by his siblings Ronald, Merle (“Curly), Zelder (“Butch”), and Robert (“Bob”).
Friends (and strangers he would have loved to have met) can visit with Wayne’s family at the Backstrom-Pyeatte Funeral Home in Springdale on Wednesday, 22 September, from 4 until 8 PM. A service will be held at the Lone Elm Freewill Baptist Church in Rudy, Arkansas on 23 September at 2 PM with a graveside commitment immediately following at the Mount McCurry Cemetery also in Rudy. Dress comfortably, it’s going to be hot, and wear your favorite Barenberg Trucking hat if you have one.
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