Clayborn (Barney) Cornelius Barnett II, passed away on December 12, 2023, in Knoxville, Iowa at the age of 96. Clayborn will be privately interred at Breckenridge Cemetery in Marion County, Iowa.
Clayborn was born near Milton, Iowa on November 20, 1927, to Clayborn and Ina Keo (Boyd) Barnett. He graduated from Knoxville High School with the class of 1946. After graduation, he attended Central College in Pella, Iowa on a football scholarship. In 1947, Clayborn hung up his football helmet and married the love of his life, Phyllis Hanna. They were united in marriage on October 19, 1947, at the United Methodist Church in Knoxville.
Clayborn was always a diligent worker and over the span of his life his career path took multiple different turns. As a young man, he ran a bulldozer for Husted Brothers. After 11 years, he decided to become a police officer, serving the city of Knoxville. He climbed the ranks, eventually becoming chief of police. Clayborn served the department for 23 years. While working for the police department, Clayborn and his good friend Bob Edwards founded Knight Security. Their company installed and maintained alarm systems for local businesses as well as recharging fire extinguishers. Clayborn would show off the new technology of the smoke detector in the late 1960’s by blowing a cloud of cigar smoke to set off the detector.
Clayborn’s last job following his retirement from the City of Knoxville, was utilizing his amazing carpentry skills, working for the Knoxville School District as a carpenter for 11 years. During his working years, he was also briefly employed with Spahn and Rose Lumber Company. It was there he learned how to build houses, eventually building his own home as well as multiple others in Knoxville. He and his son also bought, refurbished, and rented out a house and storage unit under the guise of “B and B Enterprises.”
Clayborn was not one to sit still. Outside of work, he stayed involved in the Knoxville community. He was a city council member for eight years after retiring from the police department. Clayborn also was a member of the Oddfellows, Ys-Men (they sold Christmas trees), and served as Civil Service Director for Knoxville.
When Clayborn found time to relax, he enjoyed the outdoors. Hunting and fishing were two of his greatest passions. He hunted everything from squirrels to elk on horseback in Colorado. He even hunted caribou with his brother Richard in the interior of Alaska. His favorite hunts were wild turkeys because they posed the greatest challenge. There were many Thanksgiving dinners that Clayborn’s supplied the turkey. His love of hunting turkeys turned into a hobby. Clayborn collected anything he could find that had anything to do with turkeys.
Clayborn’s greatest love was his family. He enjoyed watching his kids compete in sports in their younger years. He loved to travel with his family. His single greatest joy in life was spending time with the love of his life, Phyllis.
Clayborn is survived by his children, Gloria Jean (Rick) Hutchings of Williamson, Iowa, Andrea Barnett (Scott) Clark of Centerville, Iowa, and Clayborn C. (Meta) Barnett III of Bellevue Nebraska; seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
Clayborn was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis Ilene (Hanna) Barnett; daughter, Cindia Beth Schoon; three brothers, and two sisters.