In the community

Obituaries from the Enterprise, for the week of December 20, 2023: Leland Roy Barnes

Leland Roy Barnes

Oct. 23, 1928 – Dec. 11, 2023

Leland Roy Barnes passed away peacefully on December 11, 2023 at the age of 95 in Nampa, Idaho. He will be greatly missed by his children Stephen Barnes (Roberta), Susan Buckle (Steven), Beth Bowman (Todd), Bonnie Taylor (Jerry), and Carol Lopez (Chuck); Angela Batt (Dale), Linda Blamires (Todd) and Todd Sorensen (Andrea); and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was born to Helen Claire Keller and Blair Wymarion Barnes on October 23, 1928 in Polson, Montana, and was the oldest of five children. His family eventually settled in Vale, Oregon. They lived the hard life of a farm family during the depression era and Lee shouldered a lot of responsibility at a young age. His father and his Uncle Chet Barnes taught him skills to be a successful farmer, e.g., milking cows, plowing the fields, and planting and harvesting crops. He loved being a “caretaker of the land” and seeing the fruits of his labor. In his later years, one of his favorite pastimes was driving to the farmland south of Nampa and seeing the seasonal cycles of the crops.

In high school, Lee loved all sports and managed to juggle practice and games with his farming responsibilities. He was an excellent athlete and lettered in five sports. He was also student body president his senior year. After high school, Lee headed to Eastern Oregon College on a football scholarship and played only one season because he was needed on the farm to help support his family. 

On December 21, 1955, he married Margaret (Peggy) Baker in Vale, Oregon. Lee and Peggy were married 13 years and had five children. They lived in Vale, Oregon for a few years and then Lee bought acreage south of Nampa, Idaho. He continued to farm both properties until a feed grain accident forced him to stop farming. The family then moved to Nampa city limits. Lee was always very supportive of his children as he took on the roles of PTA president and coaching football in their elementary years and through high school.

Lee’s professional career shifted from farming to selling insurance with Equitable, Lincoln, and John Hancock companies for several years. In the late 60’s he ventured into the restaurant business, owning several restaurants in southern Idaho: Taco Time (Boise and Pocatello), Grizzly Bear Pizza (Twin Falls), and Olga’s Restaurant (Caldwell). His last business venture was in the role of financial planner. He loved helping and mentoring others.

In 1973, he married Olga Sorensen, and were married 32 years. When dad retired, they loved taking road trips in the 5th wheel and traveling. Lee’s other interests included getting his pilot’s license, hunting trips, golfing with his buddies, and BSU football. He especially loved sharing jokes and making people laugh. Qualities his children admired were his work ethic, resilient spirit, optimism, and love for family.

Lee was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. His trust and faith in the Lord gave him comfort knowing he would be reunited with loved ones. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings (Eileen Bishop, Anita Anthony, Evelyn Jordan, and Raymond Barnes) and wife (Olga). 

The family would like to express their appreciation for Lee’s friends and neighbors, the special care of all the caregivers at Grace Assisted Living, and John Yraguen of Nampa Funeral Home. 

A memorial service for Leland will be held on January 6, 2024 at the Nampa Funeral Home-Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Avenue South, Nampa, Idaho, 83651. Family will begin receiving friends at 9:30 am for the viewing, followed by the service at 10:00 am. A short graveside service at the Valley View Cemetery, 1699 Valley View Rd, Vale, Oregon 97918, will begin at 1:00 pm. An online guest book is available at


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