Judge Barbara Haynes Obituary – Barbara Jean Norman Haynes passed away on January 13, 2022 after a prolonged illness. She was born on September 6, 1937 to J.D. and Nina Norman and was raised in Nashville. She grew up in North Nashville, Bordeaux and eventually in Inglewood where she attended Isaac Litton High School. She was the first person in her family to go to college when she attended 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.
Once 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 then 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 difficult and intricate cases and settle them.
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, 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 the first Leadership Nashville class. She conducted all of the early Project Pencil adoptions from its inception so children could see a female judge while she proudly wore her red robe. She was appointed by then Gov. Lamar Alexander to chair the first and only Tennessee Sentence Commission rewriting the Tennessee Criminal Code.
She loved Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and served as Board Chair. 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. She loved diet cokes, Marlboro reds, flowers, making sourdough bread and feeding the birds, often taking left overs home to feed them or her dog Buddy.
She was predeceased in death by her infant daughter Amy, her parents, her favorite uncle Edward “Bud” Norman, her brother, J.D. Norman Jr. “Jerry” and his wife Pat. She is survived by her children and grandchildren, her brother Kenny Norman, her sister-in-law Kathleen Haynes, nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Honorary Pallbearers are her Junior Judges.
The family would like to thank her nephew Jay Norman and caregivers Linda Storm, Eureka Arnold, Athena Springer, Vicky Phelps and Mya Bonner for their loving support and care.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Barbara Haynes Scholarship, Harpeth Hall School, 3801 Hobbs Rd. Nashville 37205; Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, 2200 Children’s Way, Nashville 37232; Project Pencil, 7199 Cockrill Bend Blvd, Nashville 37209 or a charity of your choice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.