Cover photo for Barbara Haynes's Obituary
Barbara Haynes Profile Photo
1937 Barbara 2022

Barbara Haynes

September 6, 1937 — January 13, 2022


Barbara Jean Norman Haynes passed away on January 13, 2022.  She was born on September 6, 1937, to J.D. and Nina Norman in Nashville.  She grew up in North Nashville, Bordeaux and eventually in Inglewood and attended Isaac Litton High School.

She was the first person in her family to go to college and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1959.  She met and married her college sweetheart, Joe Mann Haynes, who predeceased her in 2018.

Barbara was a daughter, a wife, a mother, a cook, an avid reader, a lover of newspapers (all of them), a teacher, a researcher, a secretary to Joe when he started his law practice, a lawyer, a Judge, an instigator, a mentor and a change maker.

Upon returning to Nashville, she ultimately followed Joe’s footsteps and attended and graduated in the top of her class from the Nashville School of Law in 1976.  She joined Joe in a law practice in North Nashville and then in Goodlettsville where they made their home.  After practicing for 5 years, she decided to run for General Sessions Court Judge with the support of many women in the city.  She was the first woman to serve as a General Sessions Court Judge and served from 1982 to 1990.  She served as a judge with flair – wearing red robes, smoking from the bench, always having flowers on her bench, singing Christmas carols on the jail docket and trying to make a difference.  She ran unopposed for the Third Circuit Court Judge in 1990 and served in that position until she retired in 2011.  She was a student of the law.  She learned the details of each case and often knew the law better than the lawyers who appeared before her.  And she loved most to mediate and settle difficult and intricate cases.

Barbara and Joe raised three children, Jeffery Norman Haynes (Lucy), Scott Kendall Haynes (Julie) and Amanda Elizabeth Haynes Young (Stephen).  They had 7 grandchildren whom they loved to spoil: William Campbell Haynes, Richard Furman Haynes, Benjamin Hardin Haynes, Caroline Davis Haynes, Madden Haynes Young, Adam Gillespie Young and Mary Neely Young, and all affectionately called her “BeeBee.”

Barbara was busy outside of family and work including mentoring other women and pulling them up along the way.  She loved being in an early Leadership Nashville class.  She conducted, often while she wore her red robe, the early Project Pencil adoptions from its inception so children could see a female judge.  She was appointed by Gov. Lamar Alexander to chair the first and only Tennessee Sentencing Commission which rewrote the Tennessee Criminal Code.  She loved Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and served as Board Chair of its advisory board.  She loved that more women were attending law school and thought they should have mentors; so she, along with a host of important and strategic female lawyers, started the Lawyers’ Association for Women.  She loved Pi Beta Phi’s Christmas Village.  She loved taking care of her family and others by cooking for them or adding them to her sick list and sending them mail.  She created a unique Christmas card, and all who received it knew all about her family, and most importantly her grandchildren.  If you knew her, you knew where you stood with her.

Barbara and Joe loved each other and were rarely apart.  They loved the Tennessee Vols, the Atlanta Braves, the Tennessee Titans, Jack Daniels, fishing, a roaring fire and their favorite spot, the lake house on Old Hickory Lake.  She loved diet cokes, Marlboro reds, flowers, making sourdough bread and feeding the birds, often taking leftovers home to feed them or her dog Buddy.

A Celebration of Life will be held on July 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Ave., Nashville.  In memory of Barbara, please consider wearing orange in honor of her love for the Vols or red as she was proud to wear a red robe on the bench.  Afterwards, please join the family at Hillwood Country Club to raise a glass to Barbara.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Haynes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

Westminster Presbyterian Church

3900 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37205

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