Harry John Barina Jr.

Harry John Barina Jr.

Harry John Barina Jr., 76, was a “great family man and most loyal friend,” his son, attorney Bobby Barina, said.

Barina died Sunday at home with his family surrounding him, his son said.

A native of San Angelo, Barina married Dionisia Gonzales in 1964. They were married for 48 years until she died in 2013.

A devoted family man, Barina never missed a baseball game or swim meet in which his children participated. He drove 45 miles every day from Temple to Waco for 24 months while attending Baylor Law School. He often had to drive back to Waco after hours to study at the law school library.

Upon graduation, he worked for District Attorney Arthur Coleman “Cappy” Eads. Barina was a Bell County assistant district attorney from 1981 through 1986, and from 1988 to 1989.

He worked for Daniels, Secrest and Barrett while in private practice. He later was selected by the Bell County Commissioners Court to be the presiding judge of Bell County Court at Law No. 2. Barina served in that position for 18 years.

“John Barina’s role as a jurist was exceeded only by his role as a father and grandfather,” Temple attorney Michael White said.

After he retired, Barina served on the board of the Bell County Lawyers Association. In 2002, Barina was honored as Bell County Lawyer of the Year, according to White.

Barina touched many lives. His reputation as a judge for fairness and impartiality was known throughout the state, White said. He was reserved and preferred to listen rather than talk. He could make someone feel like the smartest and most important person in the room with his quiet and contemplative demeanor, White said.

He was a member of St. Luke Catholic Church and served as a Knight of Columbus.

Barina’s spiritual relationship with God was a constant in his life, Bobby Barina said.

He was diagnosed five years ago with kidney cancer, which eventually went into remission. Cancer returned two years ago to his liver and lungs.

While the toll on his body mounted, Barina never lost sight of the blessings he had received. He lived at home until the last two days of his life.

Barina’s survivors include his son, Bobby Dale Barina and grandson Joaquin Barina of Temple; daughter-in-law, Tricia Barina of Bryan; and sisters, Edith Anderson of Cleburne and Elaine Barina of Smithville. 

A funeral Mass for Barina is set for 11 a.m. Wednesdayat St. Luke Catholic Church, 2817 Oakdale Drive in Temple. Burial with military honors will be at 3 p.m. in the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.

A visitation and fellowship will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, 3220 S. 31st St. in Temple.