CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The founder of one of the most visited Christmas displays in Corpus Christi, Candy Cane Lane, died September 9. 2021.
Elain Barnes was 89 years old.
Barnes founded the iconic Candy Cane Lane on Donegal Drive in 1982.
“He was our inspirational leader,” neighbor Michael Casanova said. “He was very dedicated to his street, very dedicated to his family and very dedicated to his neighbors, a very sweet man.”
On Barnes' front lawn are a couple of candy canes and ribbons tied around trees around the neighborhood.
On Tuesday, neighbors came to pay their respects to the Barnes family.
“He was a man of faith,” neighbor Jim Boggs said. “A man of faith and I think that’s important to know.”
The neighborhood held a vigil for Barnes in front of his home over the weekend to talk about memories they had with him.
"He was my father, he was my hero,” his son, Eric Barnes, said. “He was an inspiration, not just to me but to hundreds of young people.”
Eric said his dad was an Arkansas native who moved to Corpus Christi in the mid-1960s, working for the Corpus Christi Army Depot for more than 35 years. He was a Texas Tech graduate, a war veteran and a Rotary club member.
“Probably the most known for is Scout Master of Troop 232,” Eric said.
But. what he cherished most was his family and the season of giving.
Eric said Mr. Barnes will be reunited with his wife and sister.
“Corpus Christi benefited from a great man and a great heart,” Eric said. “He just loved this community. He loved people and he wanted to leave this place better than he found it.”
Candy Cane Lane will continue to be lit every Christmas in honor of Elain Barnes.
Memorial services for . Barnes will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Grace Presbyterian Church, 6301 Yorktown Blvd.