Robert Lee Barnhill, III, son of Robert Lee Barnhill, Jr., and the late Peggy Duncan Williams was born on September 11, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois. Robert departed this earthly life on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, NC.
“Rock” as he was affectionately known attended and graduated from the Lumberton City Schools, Lumberton, NC. At an early age, he joined St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church. After graduation, he left NC to live and work in Atlanta, GA. In 1988, he returned to Lumberton, NC to pursue his passion and dream of working in law enforcement. He began working for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department as a Detention Officer. In 1990, he obtained his Basic Law Enforcement Certificate at Robeson Community College.
Robert’s law enforcement career flourished after his BLET completion as he continued working for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department and became a Deputy. He was also employed with the Lumberton Police Department, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles as a Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer and the North Carolina Highway Patrol as a State Trooper. Becoming a State Trooper was the highlight of his career as this was his heart’s desire and goal. Robert enjoyed is work and proudly wore his badge every day for a total of twenty-eight years.
In 1991, he married the love of his life, Erica and they embarked on a thirty year journey of love, laughter and adventure. Robert put God first and experienced the blessings and favour of the Lord in his marriage and life. He later left the Catholic Church and he and his wife joined True Believers Church of the Almighty God under the leadership of Apostle Ellie M. Baker. It was here that Robert’s spiritual life grew and he exhibited his faith in God to get him through all things. He loved the church, his church family, respected and honored his pastor. He admired and respected his church buddy and friend, Prophetess Ruby Mitchell.
Robert was a quiet, yet adventurous, easy going and friendly person. He lived his life to the fullest enjoying family, friends, fishing, sports and Disney World. He was a genuine person, had a contagious smile and saw the best in all things. He loved visiting family and especially enjoyed going to his Dad’s to watch westerns. Robert said that his Dad was his hero and spending time with him was a joy. Family meant a lot to Robert and he enjoyed being with his family at every opportunity. He was a diehard Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Tarheels fan, win or lose. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier in Myrtle Beach, SC. He was a big Mickey Mouse fan and vacationed each year in Orlando, Florida during his birthday and went to Magic Kingdom.
Robert was preceded in death by his mother, Peggy Duncan Williams and his step-father, Raymond Williams. His paternal grandparents, Robert and Rose Barnhill and his maternal grandparents, Samuel and Ida Duncan. Two uncles, Pam Parham and Samuel Duncan.
Left to cherish his memory is his loving and devoted wife; Erica; his father and step-mother Robert and Katie Barnhill of Lumberton, NC; three sisters; Robbin R. Barnhill of Lumberton, NC; Kathy Smith and Montese Davis of Largo, MD; two aunts; Madelyn Clawson of Finksburg, MD and Carol Conner of Charlotte, NC; an uncle; Frank Clawson of Lumberton, NC; two sisters in law; Carol Richardson of Lumberton, NC and Kimberly (DaMarcus) Allen of Chicago, IL; two brother in laws, Wayne(Naakoshie) Richardson of Huntersville, NC and John Smith of St. Cloud, MN; four nieces whom he loved dearly; MaKayla, Maya, Vivian and Mia and his one and only nephew; Isaiah; his best friend; Donald (Myrna) Morrison of Atlanta, GA; his favorite cousins, Mark (Nikki) Duncan of Charlotte, NC and Morris Whitted of Lumberton, NC; his brothers and fishing partners; Antonio (Chrystal) Thompson of Charleston, SC and Al (Mary) McRae of Lumberton, NC; close work friends; Charles Lewis and Ronald Wright of Lumberton, NC and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends.
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