James (Jim) Elmer Barrett of Coffeyville, KS passed away at the age of 73 on December 12, 2021, at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center.
Jim was born in Coffeyville on December 30, 1947, to Elmer Lee and Delilah Francis (Marang) Barrett. Jim spent his entire life living in Coffeyville and was a well-known, well-loved member of the community. He attended local schools and graduated from Field Kindley High School in 1965, which resulted in great celebration by the teachers!
Jim served his country as a Marine from August 1966 until his honorable discharge in June of 1969 with a rank of Sergeant. He served in Vietnam from 1968 – 1969. Shortly after his discharge from the Marines, he married Patricia K Lucas on August 1, 1969, in Bartlesville, OK. They had one child (Casey) before the marriage ended in divorce. A common law union with Becky Hosfelt resulted in the addition of two children to the family (Tom & Traci).
In 1976, Jim began what would be a lifelong career with United States Postal Service in Cherryvale, KS. From the time he started to the time he retired from the Coffeyville branch in 2007, he held just about every possible position at the USPS…except for Postmaster. He made entirely too much fun of middle management to ever be considered for or aspire to landing that role. In addition to the countless friendships, the greatest thing that came from his career with the USPS was his 30+ marriage to Terri (Fitzgerald) Barrett, whom he met very early on during his tenure. They were married on October 31, 1988 and lived an extremely full life together. If he were writing this, he would say that “She’s the one I couldn’t get rid of!” and laugh out loud when what he really meant was, “She’s the love of my life.” And that was the truth. In addition to his work at the USPS, he spent many years running his own business as a part-time Journeyman Plumber. Whenever there was a “smell” in the air, he would always say, “Smells like money!”
In addition to Terri, his kids, and Colorado, Jim’s other loves were fishing and coaching. It was not unusual to go crappie fishing with Jim and watch him catch one after another while you sat staring, waiting, and wondering if you were ever going to get a bite while he cackled and pointed at you. He laughed so hard at your misfortune that it’s a wonder he never fell out of the boat. The man was legitimately the “Crappie Whisperer”. Jim coached baseball and softball for a combined 17+ years and had a lasting effect on countless kids. He didn’t just love the games. He loved seeing the kids learn the games, and he really loved being the teacher. He used his platform as a coach to foster growth and make kids proud to be a part of something bigger than themselves. He taught life lessons. He created teams that were families. He was always joking around, teasing, etc., but behind that was love and pride and the desire to make others around him better people…and he did. #diamondsforever
Jim’s quick wit and ability to befriend anyone was something to behold and made being the Post Office Ambassador (aka the guy who looked like Kenny Rogers in a postal uniform leaning against the stamp machine chatting up everyone who walked in) the perfect occupation for the man. Endless pranks (you should hear about how he got his boss to eat tree bark disguised as beef jerky in front of the entire post office crew at a party), endless jokes (legit dad jokes), uber
amounts of charm, a sucker for wiener dogs and cats, a serious love for baseball, and an unrivaled work ethic. A relentless giver of “the business”, we can almost guarantee he is up there making fun of Jesus’s sandals and robe right now directly to his face.
Jim is survived by his wife, Terri Barrett, son and daughter in law, Casey & Regan Barrett of Prairie Village, KS, son, Tommie of Lansing, KS, and daughter, Traci of Wellington, KS. He is survived by his granddaughters, Emerson and Laine of Prairie Village, KS, and his grandson, Bash of Wellington. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great, great nephews. He also survived by his sister, Delores Adams of Bartlesville, OK. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, his uncles Tom and Bill, and his brother Dick.
The family would like to thank the ER staff at CRMC for taking such good care of Jim and for doing everything in their power to keep him around for us. Your grace and professionalism will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to give donate in memory of Jim Barrett to Coffeyville Friends of Animals or Salvation Army Community Service Volunteers.
There will be a service at Ford Wulf Bruns on January 22nd at 1:00 immediately followed by a Celebration of Life at Pappy’s State Line BBQ in downtown Coffeyville.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James E Barrett, please visit our floral store.
Coffeyville Friends of Animals
P O Box 1654, Coffeyville KS 67337