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Elkhart honors a late local legend, NFL star Erich Barnes


ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) – Town of Elkhart is remembering a late, local legend— Erich Barnes— at Agape Missionary Baptist Church.

Barnes was born on July 4, 1935 in Elkhart.

Those that knew him described him as a talented athlete, energetic community member, and a dedicated family man.

Barnes was a graduate of Elkhart East High School, before becoming a 3-year starter at Purdue.

He was drafted by the Chicago Bears within the 4th round of the 1958 NFL Draft, also playing for the Recent York Giants and Cleveland Browns during his skilled profession.

Barnes was a 6-time Pro Bowler, ending his 14-year NFL profession with 45 interceptions, and 7 touchdowns.

He was committed to the NFL alumni’s ‘Caring for Kids’ initiative, benefitting charities and families with children across the country.

“I watched him not only do the things that he did within the National Football League, but I agree with those that say that he ought to be within the Hall of Fame,” Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson said. “That is the type of athlete that Elkhart produced, and that is from the type of family that Elkhart is amazingly pleased with. So, me as mayor, I couldn’t be mayor at a greater time, a more bittersweet time than this.”

Barnes is survived by his wife, 4 children, six grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

He passed away on April 29.

He was 86 years old.

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