Tommie Lee Barney was born on December 16, 1950, in Detroit, Michigan to Willie Barney Sr and Melvina Barney, both preceding him in death. Tommie Lee Barney gave his life to Christ at an early age and in earlier years practiced his faith at Christ Reformed Baptist Church.
He was educated in the Detroit Public School system and graduated from Thomas M. Cooley High School in 1968. In 1969, Tommie was drafted into the United States Army. He served in the 391st Signal Company as a Communication Specialist with active duty during the years of 1970 to 1972. He continued his service to this country through the US Army Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1976. His service to the US Army laid the foundation that ultimately led to his future career.
For over thirty years, Tommie worked as a Technician at Michigan Bell which is presently known as AT&T. Tommie believed in service and continued to give back to his community in various ways. He was a mentor for the Big Brother Big Sister program, various softball leagues, the Police Athletic League (PAL), and countless other organizations. He went on to start a youth bowling league which provided an outlet for many metro Detroit youth. The league not only fostered fun but also community and created lifelong relationships with some of the youth. Tommie was loved by many. It was not uncommon for his mentees who span over decades to check in on "Mr. Barney". He was never hard to find, same address, same phone number, same welcoming spirit. Tommie was also known for his lengthy lectures on life and challenging the youngsters with questions such as, "So what do you plan on doing with your life?". The special relationships that he shared with countless children that were not his own was a testament of his heart. He also had a sense of humor that was unmatched, some would even refer to it as dry humor. He loved to stump you with his words while making you think. He loved keeping the kids active, always a listening ear, and was willing to do what he could to help others.
Tommie enjoyed various hobbies which included bowling, photography, talking politics, enjoying news commentary, and most of all spending time with family. Family was not a hobby but his life. His love of photography commonly made family and friends the subject of this hobby. Many times, he was not in pictures because he was the man behind the camera. His life was all about his daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchild, and he cherished these relationships. There was nothing he would not do for them.
Tommie was called home on October 29, 2022. He leaves behind to cherish his memories; his daughters; Toni Davison (Darrell), Kimberly "Kimmie" Barney, and Darlene Brown (Benjamin); his grandchildren; Joice Nicole Washington (Terry), Darrell Davison Jr, JaVaughn Davison, Tiah Davison, Joshua Davison (Yuri), Benjamin Grant Brown, and Bryce Brown; great-granddaughter Mira Makoto Davison. He leaves behind his siblings, Erma Yanish, Vivian Johnson, Irene Willis, a sister in love Geraldine Barney, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings John Thomas, Georgia Mae Johnson, Viola Barney, Willie Barney Jr, William Ray Barney, James Lee Barney, Emily Barney, Albert Barney, and a brother in love Frank Yanish.