Marvin Barnes Dies

Hall of Fame owner, breeder died November 30.

Lela and Marvin Barnes.

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame 2017 inductee Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma, died November 30 at the age of 96, at his home.

He was born March 26, 1920, in Cumberland, Oklahoma, to Elmer and Ivy Lee Dunham Barnes. He graduated from Ada High School and married Lela Stanley Whittle on December 31, 1957. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

With the help of American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame mare FL Lady Bug, Marvin and his late wife  established the Lady Bug Stallion Station at Madill, Oklahoma, and a breeding program that changed racing forever.

The 50-year cumulative breeders bred their first Quarter Horse in 1960 and over the years raised horses that earned more than $4.7 million. Top Bug, Top Ladybug and Mr Master Bug were champions, 15 others were stakes winners and one already is in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

That Hall of Famer is Lady Bug’s Moon, a successful racehorse and sire, and himself the son of Barnes’ Hall of Fame mare FL Lady Bug. Lady Bug’s Moon is the grandsire of First Prize Rose, the dam of all-time leading sire First Down Dash, who was co-bred by A.F. “Sonny” Stanley, Lela’s brother.

Along with Lela and FL Lady Bug, Marvin is already a member of the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. He is set to be inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017.

Services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 3, at the Criswell Funeral Home Chapel in Ada. The Rev. Jimmy Balentine will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery.

Survivors include three nieces, Almeda Harrel of Ada, Cheryl Parks of Minco and Beverly Johnson of Austin, Texas; and one nephew, Kenneth R. Morris of Minco.

He was preceded in death by his wife, his son, Michael Barnes; and a stepson, Jerry Vaughn Whittle.

Bearers will be Troy Reust, Travis Reust, Vaughn Whittle, Kenneth Winters, Mike Parks and Justin Magness. Honorary bearers will be Johnny Barney and Fred Frederickson.

Condolences can be left at an online guestbook.

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