First Responders 04

Big John Frederick Barnes

May 4, 1965 ~ March 22, 2021 (age 55)


Mr. John Frederick “Big John” Barnes, 55, of Melfa, VA, passed away Monday, March 22, 2021 at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. Born May 4, 1965 in Norfolk, VA and reared in Exmore, VA, he was the son of the late Frederick Marvin Barnes and Betty Lou Hall.

Always with a smile and friendly conversation, there were few people on the Shore who hadn’t met and befriended Big John. He was a longtime truck driver for T&W Block and Concrete, though he worked various jobs over the years. A country boy at heart, Big John loved going fishing and hunting, and his greatest passion was volunteer firefighting, having served at the Bloxom, Melfa, and Tasley stations. Big John was a bright light in the lives of all who knew him. His presence will be greatly missed and his memory forever cherished.

He is survived by his wife, April Thompson Barnes; sisters, Melinda Byrd and her husband, Carlton III of Knoxville, TN and Christina Green of Onancock, VA; brother, Frederick Barnes, Jr. of Exmore; nieces and nephews, Carlton Byrd IV, Shelby Vigh, Courtney Green, John Green, and Rodney Taylor; great-niece, Hailie Wilson; stepmother, Brenda Barnes; and step sister, Barilee Kruszewski. In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by his brother, Jeremy Barnes.

A memorial service will be held at Maranatha Baptist Church in Exmore on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., with The Reverend Mike Muender officiating.

Contributions in John’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060-9979 or online at

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at 

Arrangements by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Big John Frederick Barnes, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
March 29, 2021

2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist Church
12354 Lincoln Avenue
Exmore, VA 23350


American Heart Association
4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen VA 23060-9979

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