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  • Crystal Faircloth

John "Kelly" Barnhill

February 28, 1956 ~ January 2, 2023 (age 66)

John “Kelly” Barnhill, age 66, of Clarkton passed away on Monday, January 2, 2023 at UNC Chapel Hill with his wife and daughters by his side.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Ellison (JE) Barnhill and Sarah Francis Callihan Barnhill, two sisters Sandra Strickland and Gail Barnhill and one granddaughter Danica Lee Cancil. He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon Robertson Barnhill of the home, two daughters Sarah “Jaymie” Cancil (Rick) of Washington State and NC1 Devon Barnhill of Hawaii, one sister Robin Barnhill Beyer (Paul) of Clarkton and several grandchildren, and great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Also left to mourn are his many in-laws, whom he loved dearly.

Kelly was born on February 28, 1956 in Annapolis, Maryland. He married in 1978, and in 1980, he and his wife Sharon moved to Bladen County. He got his degree from Bladen Community College and went to work for Singletary Ornamental Iron for many years. He then started his own business, Authentic Iron, on Hwy 131 in Bladenboro. It was there that Kelly found his passion in creating unique and artistic iron creations from the simple to the extremely ornate. He loved an unusual or complicated challenge and was a stickler for the small details of any project he took on.

Kelly enjoyed visiting with his family and was very proud of them all. Spending time with his daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren was a special joy for him.

He will be remembered by many for his custom iron creations and eye for detail. He will be remembered by his family for his love, patience, guidance and wonderful sense of humor.

A private service will be held for the family at a later date.

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