Cover photo for SFC Joe Edmund Barnhill's Obituary
1947 Joe Edmund Barnhill 2023

SFC Joe Edmund Barnhill

November 26, 1947 — December 10, 2023



SFC Joe Edmund Barnhill
26 November 1947 – 10 December 2023
Sachse, TX

Joe Edmund Barnhill was born November 26, 1947, in Franklin, Tennessee. He went to be with our Lord and Savior on December 10, 2023. Heaven gained a special and unique Angel.

Joe would want to recognize and honor his fallen and heroic brothers in arms, the 58,318 soldiers who bravely lost their lives in the Vietnam War, the 1,584 prisoners of war and those unaccounted for, and all the men and women who have served in the United States military.

Joe was a Christian, a vibrant light of joy and laughter, a loving and kind soul known as a friendly jokester, ready to make anyone laugh and smile. He was proud to be from Tennessee and graduated in 1966 from Franklin High School, TN.

In 1967, Joe was 20 years old when he enlisted in the United States Army, beginning his military career at Ft. Campbell, KY. He served two years in the Vietnam War, in battles near Phan Thiet, Saigon, and Pleiku, Vietnam. SFC Barnhill served as a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment known as the Night Stalkers Airborne Division, Company A, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) known as The First Team, 1st Aviation Brigade The Golden Hawks Troop B of the 7th Squadron known as the Ruthless Riders, and the 17th Cavalry Regiment, known as the Pale Horse or Chicken Man in Vietnam. In 1975, Joe served with the Aviation Platoon Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division. In 1978, Joe was with the 45th Transportation Company and the 377th Aviation Medical Company, Air Ambulance in Korea. While in Germany, he served as a Platoon Sergeant with Company B then A of the 501st Aviation Battalion.

Joe loved to work in and on the old UH-1D and UH-1H Huey Helicopters. He was a Sergeant First Class Master Air Crewman with Air Mobile Airborne Assault and retired as a Senior Maintenance Supervisor. He was an expert rifle door gunner, a single-engine helicopter mechanic, an aircraft maintenance crewman, and a parachute rigger. Later, Joe became a Rotary Wing Technical Mechanical Inspector. He retired from the Army after 20 years of service in aviation in 1987, including two years in Korea and eight years in Germany.

SFC Barnhill was proud to have earned a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Commendation Medal, and Achievement Medal, recognized five times with a Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Campaign Stars, Army Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Airborne Air Assault Badge, Master Air Crewman Badge, Expert Rifle Badge, and Drivers Mechanic Badge.

While serving with the 1st Cavalry Division, they achieved a Presidential Unit Citation for their actions. The Division was near Hue when the Viet Cong launched their Tet Offensive. They participated in breaking the siege at Khe Sanh in support of the US Marines. They followed that with Operation Delaware and the battle of A Shau Valley. The Division earned the Valorous Unit Award; which is the second-highest unit decoration issued for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy. They were also awarded The Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation with Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Medal Unit Citation.

Joe valued his education, obtaining several degrees throughout his life. In 1989, is initiated into the Mu Xi Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha of the National Political Science Honor Society. In 1984, Joe graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Associate in Arts. In 1991, he graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science and undergraduate degrees in Secondary Education and Sociology, and in 1992, Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Social Service. Joe graduated from Minnesota Moorhead State University with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work in 1993 and obtained his crowning educational accomplishment was a Master Degree in Social Work in 1996. He also earned a certificate from the University of Minnesota Drug Counseling and Education Program in 2001.

Joe was a licensed Clinical Social Worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Minnesota as a Readjustment Counselor who helped fellow Veterans. The St. Paul Vet Center has recognized him for the quality of service provided from 1996-2003. He also received a 30-year service award in appreciation for his loyal service to the United States government. In 1992, The Veterans Administration presented him with a Special Contribution Award for his unique contribution to the Mission of the Agency. Upon his retirement in 2003, he moved to El Paso, Texas. Were he became a member of The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

He was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in honor of his great-grandfather Private Vachel Isah Barnhill. His father Cully Barnhill, and grandfather V.I. Barnhill were also Veterans.

Joe attended Western Hills United Methodist Church in El Paso, TX. In 2009, he earned certificates of recognition for completion of Disciple courses in Becoming Disciples through Bible Study and in 2010, Into the Word into the World, and Remember Who You Are. Joe was a religious and spiritual man who studied the word of our Lord and Savior, the history of the Bible, and was also interested in Biblical Archeology. He enjoyed reading and learning about different religions and cultures around the world.

Joe was grateful to Kathy Hardison, the mother of his daughters, Michelle and Ayesha, for their sacrifice and suffering during his time in the Army, raising their two daughters on her own and in the way of the Lord.

Joe enjoyed many things throughout life, like watching a lightning storm from his backyard at night while listening to the wind chimes. He liked listening to disco music, dancing at Zumba workouts, snow skiing in the Alpines, long-distance running, free weight lifting, and ballroom dancing. Some of his favorite foods were his mom and sister Lisa's home-cooked meals above all. He was always excited to indulge when they included his mother's traditional favorite recipes at family gatherings. He also loved peaches, pepperoni pizza, chocolate, crunchy peanut butter by the spoonfuls, all kinds of cheeses, and especially cheese curds, pasta, olives, and bread. He was an avid admirer and owner of many tattoos and won several trophies over the years. He enjoyed watching new and old movies in English and foreign languages. Joe had a passion for gardening and was a master gardener. His favorite flowers are purple Iris, calla lilies, plumbagos, roses, wisteria, tulips, foxgloves, and flower-blooming cacti. He loved it in the fall with all the color-changing trees, especially the Japanese Maples with vibrant orange, purple, yellow, and red colors. Joe truly enjoyed being outdoors in nature and was fortunate to have a family day together at the Dallas Arboretum in 2023. He was also proud of his collections of Jack Daniels, Dewalt tools, and Marilyn Monroe.

Joe truly cherished time with family and friends. His daughters and grandkids meant the world to him. He loved being out and about socializing, having drinks with his best friends Craig and Dee Perkins, and working out with friend and personal trainer Kevin Lane at the gym.

Joe's last year was tough enduring a hard battle with a presumptive condition to Agent Orange exposure during his time in Vietnam. ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease is suspected to have been a rare form of frontotemporal ALS that he endured. SFC Barnhill's last gift back to the world was to donate to the VA Biorepository Brain Bank for ALS research to help fellow veterans and others affected by this horrible disease and hopefully help provide a cure in the future!

Joe is a Husband, a Father, a Grandfather, a Great Grandfather, a Brother, and an Uncle. He is survived by his loving wife and VA Caregiver Amanda Scott-Barnhill of Sachse, TX.
Daughter Michelle & husband Anthony Beal Dresden, TN. Daughter Ayesha and husband Davy Parker Culleoka, TN. Granddaughter Kala and husband Barry Jennings Lawrenceburg, IN. Grandson Dakota and wife Monica Beal Dresden, TN. Granddaughter Chasity and husband Caleb Avery Bremen, KY. Grandson Benjamin and wife Samantha Parker Culleoka, TN. Great Grandchildren Layton Jennings and Reagan Jennings Lawrenceburg, IN, Grayson Beal and Mack Beal Dresden, TN. Abrielle Avery & Adaline Avery Bremen, KY.
Sister Lisa and husband Bill Stone Kaufman, TX. Nephews Brandon and wife Cris Stone Katy, TX; Brian and wife Jennifer Stone; great nephews Logan, Killian, Caiden, and Gideon Stone Denton, TX, Army Specialist Zachary Stone Killeen, TX; and Matthew Stone Kaufman, TX.
Stepdaughter Savannah Groves Wylie, TX. Stepdaughter Brianna Groves and Dylan Bryson, grandson-in-law Oliver Bryson, and newly born Jasper Bryson (JB) Wylie, TX. Mother and Father-in-law Shirley and Bud Goodale Mesquite, TX. and Father-in-law Wayne Langston Irving, TX. Brother-in-law Darrell Goodale, nephew and niece-in-law Trevor, and Kasidy Goodale Mesquite, TX. Brother and sister-in-law Joshua and Maria Langston, nephews Jacob and Zaden Langston Paris, TX.
Grandmother-in-law Brenda Kelsey Plano, TX.

He was preceded in death by his former loving wife Barbara Barnhill, two baby Barnhill brothers, and parents Cully Edmund Barnhill and Katherine Huff Fields. Grandparents Douglas Huff and Sadie Jones Huff. Recently passed grandmother-in-law Barbara Kind and cousin Greg Williams.

Pets that superseded him in death include dogs Mandy and Bella, cats Miss Kitty, Trouble, Asia, Charlie, Smokey, Cooter, Ernest, Burt, and Leroy. May we all reunite at the gates of Heaven and be together again one day.

His four-legged family will miss him greatly: Wil-He B, Beavis, But-ler, Porscha, Dakota, and Zara.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. Isiah 40:31
Give thanks to the God of Heaven. His love endures forever. Psalms 136:26

Joe, we all miss you dearly. You are loved by many, and our memories in life together will stay with us forever in our hearts!

Memorial Services in Honor of SFC Joe E. Barnhill will be on March 4, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. noon at Charles W. Smith and Sons Funeral Home located at 2925 Fifth Street Sachse, TX 75048

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of SFC Joe Edmund Barnhill, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, March 4, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Home - Sachse

2925 5th St, Sachse, TX 75048

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