TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Family and friends are continuing to mourn the loss of a beloved Tupelo man.
According to a news release from Holland Funeral Directors, 65-year-old Rob Barnes died at his sister’s home in Tupelo after fighting the coronavirus for two weeks.
Barnes was a longtime athletic trainer and coach for Lee County schools. He spent much of his time caring for special needs children.
Barnes was also a co-founder and member of the men’s choir, “The Lane Quartet.”
For the last six years, Barnes worked as track coach and assistant football coach at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School. Instead of the school's first football game that was scheduled for that Friday, organizers held Barnes' vigil that night. Football players were in attendance.
His daughter and nephew remained shocked. They said he was a healthy person who drank a lot of water. His 11-year old nephew plays football as a running back.
“He was a helping person because he loved to help us. He wanted to train me in football, and he trained me, and he got me way better. He wanted to see me succeed. That's all he wanted to do,” Bobo said.
“If you ever wanted to talk to him, he was always there to listen, no matter who you were or what your problem was,” Shackelford said.
The funeral home’s media release said a service of gratitude celebrating his life will be at noon on Saturday.
The family is requesting a private funeral service.
A speaker at the vigil also said Robin’s Field will be renamed in honor of Barnes.