DEL NORTE — Barney Bliss Black, 91, of Del Norte, died surrounded by his family Feb 5, 2012 at the Rio Grande Hospital.
A lifelong resident of Del Norte, Barney died of natural causes following a lengthy illness. At Barney’s request, he will be cremated.
He was born Aug 22, 1920, in Holbrook, Ariz., to Warden Ray Sr. and Edna Earle Bliss Black. Barney was the youngest of eight children and was the last remaining sibling of his family.
He married Freeda Allen in 1946 and they were blessed with five children.
Barney’s passions included “ Jeeping” in the mountains, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing and camping. Barney was Del Norte’s Chief of Police for 26 years, as well as town manager, maintenance supervisor overseeing the streets, water and sewer departments, as well as running the ambulance for the town of Del Norte.
He was elected mayor for two terms, and was one of the founding members of the San Luis Valley Peace Officers Assn. He also worked for the Del Norte school district.
Barney entered the Navy in 1942, serving in the Asiatic Pacific arena including Iwo Jima and Pearl Harbor, along with other locations.
Barney and Freeda served proudly as the Grand Marshals for a Covered Wagon Days Parade.
His parents, three brothers and four sisters, a set of twins and two grandchildren preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Freeda Allen Black of the family home and five children. The boys all live in the Del Norte area and include Richard (Colleen) Black, Ken (Alice) Black, Kelly (Kathy) Black. Daughters are and Patsy Black Moreland of Durango and Robin (Craig) Hargis of Green River, Wyo. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, 15 great- grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, children Barney’s siblings.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the Pioneer United Church, with graveside services and full police and military honors following the Del Norte Cemetery. Refreshments will be served at the church immediately following the graveside services.
Memorial contributions may be made to the San Luis Valley Peace Officer’s Association or the Rio Grande Hospital in Barney’s name through Rusty Strohmayer at Strohmayers Funeral Home, P. O. Box 142, Monte Vista, Colo. 81144, which was entrusted with the arrangements.