Bourdon (B.R.) Rea BarfieldOctober 28, 1926 ~ January 9, 2018 (age 91)
Bourdon Rea (B. R.) Barfield
Bourdon Rea Barfield passed away in his home on January 9, 2018. He was a proud fourth-generation native of Amarillo before moving to Kerrville in 2013.
A memorial service will be held on Jan. 16 at 3:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Amarillo. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home of Amarillo.
B. R. was born Oct. 28, 1926 to Oliver Rea Eakle Barfield and Bourdon Ivy Barfield in Amarillo. Mr. Barfield traced his roots in Amarillo to 1889 when his great-parents settled in the new city.
B. R. was a lifelong resident of Amarillo except for his years at the University of Texas at Austin where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He graduated with a BBA from The University. He was a lifelong Longhorn fan. After graduation, he returned to his hometown to start a career in real estate development and investments. He and the former Carolyn Grissom of Waco were married in 1951. They had four children: Deyanne, Amanda, Bourdon and John.
Mr. Barfield led a life of passion for his family and was extremely devoted to his church and community. He was an active member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and, more recently at First Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder.
Mr. Barfield co-chaired the Amarillo Centennial Celebration in 1987. Co-chairing this committee was the high point of his civic involvement that linked his love of the Amarillo community to his love of history. “One of the things that are unique about this area is the way people have continued to live here throughout several generations. The people who remain here are rooted and that continuity adds to the flair of the city,” he said. Projects begun as part of the Amarillo Centennial celebration are a lasting tribute to Mr. Barfield’s legacy. The Amarillo Centennial Parkway project raised funds to plant trees leading to the Amarillo airport. Citizens purchased the centennial bricks for a Centennial Plaza adjacent to the Civic Center. During the year-long celebration, Mr. Barfield did everything from conducting a performance of the Amarillo Symphony to being dunked in horse trough to publicize Cowboy Saturdays.
For his leadership in the Centennial Celebration, Mr. Barfield was named 1987’s Amarillo Globe-News Man of the Year. In 1966, he was honored by the Downtown Amarillo Unlimited group for his work to promote the redevelopment of the downtown business district. Mr. Barfield was elected president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1961 after having served on the Board of Directors since1957. He was named one of Amarillo’s Outstanding Young Businessmen by the Amarillo Jaycees and was also President of the Rotary Club in Amarillo. Mr. Barfield served as president of the Board of Directors of the Amarillo Symphony in 1959. He led the special gifts division of the fund drive to build a new stadium for West Texas State University in 1958.
Throughout his career, Mr. Barfield was an optimist declaring that Amarillo’s future would be as strong as its history. He told the Globe-News, “Amarillo as most towns, has gone through many stages. The original settlers had foresight, vision and determination….With faith and hard work, the future is whatever we choose to make it.
“The inner spirit, which sustains us, can give us that bright future, or perhaps prosperity. Although prosperity does not equate with happiness, nor peace of mind, nor a sense of well-being. Each of us can only create that within ourselves.” Mr. Barfield had a great eye for architecture and Planned Development and made significant contributions toward the future growth of Amarillo with the development of many subdivisions in the community.
Because of his declining health, the Barfield’s moved to Kerrville a few years ago, but his heart remained in Amarillo. B.R. will always be remembered as a gift to the community and a joy to his family.
Mr. Barfield was preceded in death by his son John.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and their children, Deyanne Barfield of Flagstaff, AZ; Amanda Barfield Williams and husband David of Kerrville and Bourdon Barfield and wife Melanie of Fairview; a brother, Oliver Eakle Barfield; grandchildren Rebecca Williams Whitaker and husband Andrew of Miami Fla., Liz Williams Keator and husband Mark of Boerne, Bo Barfield of San Francisco, Calif., Annabel Barfield Nyugen and her husband Ceasar of Allen, and Callie Barfield, Brooke Barfield, AnnMarie Barfield and Abbi Barfield, all of Fairview, and CeCe Barfield Thompson and her husband Will of New York, N.Y.; and great grandchildren, Laney and Emmie Keator of Boerne, Leo and Margot Nyugen of Allen, Pryor and Grace Thompson of New York and William Whitaker of Miami, Fla.
The family would like to thank Dr. James Young and Pat Burney, his assistant, of Kerrville, Peterson Hospice, and all his devoted caregivers for their empathy, support and wonderful care throughout his journey with Alzheimer’s.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials are made to First Presbyterian Church, 1100 S. Harrison, Amarillo, TX 79101 or Peterson Hospice 1121 Broadway, Kerrville, TX 78028 or your favorite charity.