Kent Barley, 84, of Stephens City, VA, passed away peacefully at home Friday, April 2, 2021, surrounded by close family.
He was born in Frederick County on June 23, 1936 to Miller Stickley Barley and Inez Cougill Barley. He follows his three older brothers; Lewis, Ray, and Glenn. Kent married Helen Howe Barley, of Gore, VA, his wife of 48 years. He raised two daughters, Amy Barley of Winchester, VA, and Keveney Bair of Sinks Grove, WV. His son, Kent Barley, Jr., passed October 2007.
Kent began farming at a young age. He often recounted sitting on the fence, as a child, waiting for the sun to come up so he could begin the day’s chores. A quiet, reserved young man, Kent had a passion for the natural world. Immediately after graduating high school in 1954, Kent started farming on his own. After the death of his parents, he purchased his family’s original “Homeplace” from his brothers and expanded the “Barleyfield” acreage over the years. He took great pride in his work as an orchardist, traveling extensively to learn techniques, and implementing new methods throughout his career. With the help and devotion of his wife, Helen, his orchards remain in production today.
Kent was a lifelong member of the local agriculture community. He was voted Outstanding Young Farmer by the Winchester Junior Chamber of Commerce, acted as a commissioner on the Virginia State Apple Commission from 1970 — 1974, and served as President, Vice President, and Board Member-at-Large of the Frederick County Fruit Growers Association. Along with his orchards, Kent raised cattle, and gardened extensively in his later lifechefs prized his high-quality apples and homegrown produce.
Kent treasured his family history, and donated a significant number of historical documents that he collected on the Barley family to the Handley Regional Library for safekeeping and preservation. The Kent Barley Collection includes original documents dating back to the 1800s.
An avid outdoorsman, Kent Barley loved fly fishing, bird hunting with his dogs, canoeing on the Shenandoah River, and boating on the Eastern Shore. Sharing time outside with his family was an important part of his life. Kent will be remembered dearly for his love of nature, dedication to his farm, family, and close friends, his lively stories, and his passion for enjoying life on his own terms.
Kent is survived by his wife, Helen, daughters, Amy and Keveney, son-in-law Luke Bair, and four grandchildren: Jackie and Eli McGraw and Wyatt and Casey Bair.
Services will be at a later date.
Online condolences may be left at www.jonesfunealhomes.com