Robert (Bob) Barefield, US Army Colonel (Retired)

Robert (Bob) Barefield, US Army Colonel (Retired), aged 77, passed away in the presence of his family on December 22, 2023. Born on September 24, 1946 in Paducah, Kentucky, he graduated from Murray State College. Bob married the love of his life, Nancy Bridges on May 12, 1973, and together they were blessed with three children. 

Following service in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division from 1969-1970 he completed a 30-year career in the United States Army. Bob’s profound love for his country and the Soldiers he served alongside translated seamlessly into retirement, where he and Nancy devoted themselves to aiding veterans and their families, demonstrating tireless and unwavering commitment in the service of others.

Bob’s affection for his family and friends mirrored the passion he held for Soldiers and Veterans. His contagious warmth, humor and kindness had a transformative impact on those around him. Whether leading a signficant project with the Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery (SCALNC), including the Scenic Overlook, or helping someone in a time of need or loss, he was a source of gentle strength and authentic generosity. 

Bob is survived by his devoted wife Nancy, Pinson, Alabama, his children:  Michael and daughter-in-law Kerri Barefield, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Christy Barefield, Winter Haven, Florida and Robert Barefield II, Huntsville, Alabama; grandchildren, Drew Barefield, Steubenville, Ohio, Audrey Barefield, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Paxton Barefield, Satellite, Florida; sister Susie Smith, Symsonia, Kentucky. He was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Viola Barefield, brother, Paul Barefield and grandson, Jacob Barefield.

On Friday December 29, 2023, visitation will be held at Hope Community Church (formerly McElwain Baptist Church) 4445 Montevallo Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35213 from 10am until 12pm, followed by a Celebration of Life ceremony from 12pm until 1pm. He will be laid to rest at the Alabama National Cemetery at 2:45pm.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery at Donations SCALNC.

Charter Funeral Home is handling the services and any comments for the family may be left on their website.


  1. JD Crawford on December 26, 2023 at 12:31 am

    Bob Barefield was a great American soldier and a truly good friend to many. His concern for the well-being of others was genuine and constant.

    I was touched that on the eve of going into the hospital, Bob phoned me to see how I was doing after having spent five days in the hospital myself. He was that kind of a man.

    You may take your final post now and rest in eternity, good friend.

  2. Dr. David Dyson on December 26, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Nancy and Family,

    Wishing the family love and condolences. Bob was my brother.


  3. Ron Alexander on December 26, 2023 at 8:47 pm


    So sorry to hear about the passing of Bobby, I know he will be missed by many people, specially you and your children. May god bless!

    Love y’all

  4. Kent Davis on December 27, 2023 at 3:14 pm

    Bob was a gem of a human being. I cannot think of anyone who has done more to serve his country, both in uniform and in his incredible work for veterans. We in the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs mourn the loss of our brother, but we know where his beautiful soul already is. I can see him now showing up at the pearly gates, Stetson hat and all, and being greeted with the following for a life well lived: “Well done, my brother . . . well done!”

  5. Chad Richmond on December 27, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    I am proud to have called Bob friend and to have served with him in many veteran assistance programs. He was truly one-of-a-kind and did all that he could to make lives easier for his fellow veterans and their families. The veteran community has lost a great champion and he will truly be missed by all that knew him. See you at Fiddler’s Green Colonel!

  6. Anita Bennett on December 27, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    Colonel, you were always a gentleman and so humble. I’ll never forget the first time I met you and Nancy at the ALNC. Ya’ll were always hard at work, making sure veterans and their families were honored and remembered. Thank you for your lifelong service to our country and families. RIP defender, we have the watch.

  7. Patti Douglas on December 27, 2023 at 10:06 pm

    Honored to call him friend and fellow member of Ryan Winslow Post 911.

    Prayers for Nancy and family. 🙏🏻✝️🙏🏻

  8. Margaret Spaun on December 27, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    Nancy and Family ,
    Bob was a great man and will be missed by all that new him.
    My Condolences to his family.
    Larry and Margaret Spaun

  9. Mike Oakley, SGM ( Ret) on December 28, 2023 at 1:51 am

    Col. Bob Barefield was not only an inspiration to me through the years that we’ve been friends and shared Veteran support efforts but he was a inspiration to people that he did not even know through his extensive life experiences and leadership qualities. Anybody who has a loved one, laying to rest in the Alabama national cemetery and Montevallo can think Col. Barefield as well as his beautiful wife, Nancy. We met through the blue star salute foundation and have been friends ever since. Whether it’s the national Veterans Day in Birmingham, Folds of Honor, or any of the other various Veteran organizations that we have been a part of, Col. Barefield was a man among men. My life has been better having known and associated with the Barefield’s.

  10. Kirby Smith on December 29, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    Bob came to rescue me in Vietnam, selflessly volunteered to do so! Then we
    both were hit by an RPG, my only Purple Heart, but one of FIVE for dear Bob.
    Later he became my best subordinate commander. Later he became my best
    friend; later he became my cheerleader when I visited B’ham. I briefly beheld
    his immense impact on veterans and Gold Star families. “Well done thou good
    and faithful servant.” Kirby Smith [CA]

  11. Kirby Smith on December 29, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    Bob was truly in my Band of Brothers. He came to rescue me, we shared a Purple Heart [he had a total of FIVE], and he was my best subordinate commander. He wonderfully served veterans and Gold Star families, to name a few accolades. Later when I came to B’ham to visit he dropped everything to serve me and become a cheerleader. “Well done, thou good and faithful…!”

  12. Edward Ryszkiewicz on January 6, 2024 at 11:57 pm

    Honored to know and serve with him at Ryan Winslow Post 911. Prayers, grace and peace for Nancy and the family.