Barry Lynn Rawls

Born in Nashville, Tennessee on January 10, 1954

Departed on May 3, 2019 and resided in Nashville, Tennessee

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Age 65, of Nashville, passed away May 3, 2019.

Barry loved and served God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. His love for God led him to serve others with that same passion.

He was a skilled musician playing a variety of string instruments and the piano. As a music teacher he served his students by giving them a deep love for music. A student recently shared these thoughts, “Mr. Barry has always been so special to me. I will never forget the difference he made in my life. He took a chance on a little 8 year old me and gave me the gift of music.” Barry shared his love of music with his nephews, Clint and Lee. Both play string instruments largely because of Uncle Barry’s influence.

Barry was the quintessential member of his local church family at Harpeth Heights always looking to find what he could do that might otherwise be left undone. He served as a deacon, a youth Sunday school teacher, worked in children’s ministry, played guitar on the praise team, led and played in the band, and served in the NHC Rehabilitation Sunday services.

Barry was always available to serve family and friends whether it was making a needed home repair, mowing a neighbor’s yard, or visiting a sick or lonely acquaintance.

Barry embraced “living sent”. Because of this he often engaged in gospel conversations that led him to share a Scripture verse or a prayer with servers at restaurants, police officers he met, and anyone that he felt needed to hear the “good news” of God’s love.

Barry’s lived quietly. He spoke softly. But he lived out his love for God and others loudly. Our lives have been enriched forever because we knew Barry Lynn Rawls.

Preceded in death by his father, David E. Rawls, Jr. Survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Pamela Creasy Rawls; mother, Leota Allen Rawls; sister, Carolyn Summers (Jimmy); niece, Teresa Reynolds (David); nephew, David Summers; great-nieces, Abigail Reynolds & Addy Grace Summers; great-nephew, Cooper Reynolds & Cade Reynolds.

A Life Celebration will be held 7:00pm, Tuesday at The Church at Harpeth Heights. Visitation will be 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Tuesday. Pallbearers will be Cooper Reynolds, Cade Reynolds, Lee Creasy, Clint Creasy, George Street & David Summers. Honorary pallbearers are Jimmy Summers & Ovid Creasy. Burial will be 10:00am, Wednesday at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens, 9090 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN, 37221, 615-646-9292, harpethhills.com

39 Comments to Barry Lynn Rawls

  1. Mona Baswell
    May 4, 2019 6:04 pm

    Our entire family will miss Barry. My four children recall his involvement in the youth area at HHBC and also recall participating in church dramas alongside him. Most of all we will miss seeing him minister in the Praise Team week by week. Words sinply aren’t adequate.

  2. Vickie Krick
    May 4, 2019 7:07 pm

    Loved him so much. Wonderful man. He was always willing to help in anyway he could. Pam May God comfort you in a way only he can. Love you so much 🙏Vickie Krick

  3. Kathy Creasy
    May 4, 2019 7:38 pm

    Barry was a quiet giant, sure of what he believed. He lived out the principles of kindness, integrity, contentment and service every day. He lived out his love for God in loving those around him. As his sister in law, I am so thankful for the love he showed his wife, Pam, my in-laws, Margaret and Ovid Creasy, my sons, Lee and Clint Creasy, and their families. Barry’s life makes each of us desire to live life more fully by loving others more intentionally through meaningful actions.

  4. Rick Creasy
    May 4, 2019 7:41 pm

    Too soon. So shocking. Barry was a model Christian in every respect. He was a devoted husband to my precious sister, Pam Rawls. He loved my family and often helped our mother and father with upkeep and small repair jobs. He taught my boys, Lee and Clint how to play the guitar, mandolin, and banjo. I’ve never heard him say a negative word about anyone. He never judged. Letters are coming in from his music students telling of their appreciation for his “life changing” lessons. The Rawls family can certainly be proud of the son and brother he was. When he visited us, Clint and Lee he would work the much of the time helping out around the house with odd jobs. He had a servant’s heart. We will miss him but our loss is heaven’s gain. He never planned on dying. He always thought about living. So we bear this transition with grief and extreme sadness, but we can be joyful as we are confident he is now in the arms of his precious Savior for all of eternity.
    Rick Creasy, Pam’s brother.

  5. Kellye Jeffers
    May 4, 2019 8:03 pm

    Barry was so talented. He was always playing bass
    For the praise band and choir. I will miss seeing him up there.
    He had a heart for God. What a servant. I’m sure he heard the words “ Well done””.

  6. Susan Hutchens
    May 4, 2019 8:21 pm

    What a precious, humble servant of God and His people. Ron and I moved to Bellevue and started attending Harpeth Heights 20 years ago this July. Barry and Pam were some of our first friends. Ron and Barry shared music interests and played in the praise band together for many years. Barry was one of a kind, gentle and soft spoken but you always knew he loved the Lord. I’ve never heard him utter an unkind word. We will miss you Barry and look forward to seeing you again. Pam, we love you and are praying God gives you rest and peace that only He can give.

  7. Maryann Flanagan, John, Clint, Devin and Amy
    May 4, 2019 8:45 pm

    PAM,
    I REMEMBER BACK TO WHEN YOU AND BARRY WERE DATING AS WE WERE NEIGHBORS AT THE TIME.
    YOU ARE TWO SPECIAL PEOPLE. I KNOW IT IS A GREAT LOSS FOR YOU AS WELL AS ANYONE WHO KNEW BARRY. HE WAS A GENTLE, SWEET MAN. HE WILL BE MISSED.

  8. Ovid Creasy
    May 4, 2019 8:57 pm

    Margaret, and i are shocked that Barry has slipped away from us so quickly. He was like a son to us and we loved him as such. Barry always put us ahead of anything he had planned, helping us with anything we needed. Barry taught me how to use my first computer that he and Pam bought, and setup for me. He installed several TV’s, kindle Fires, and telephones. Most of all Barry Lynn Rawls is at Peace with God. Barry lived to serve his wife, church, and community. He served without reproach.
    I’m a better man today because Barry came into our family.

  9. Ron Loftis
    May 4, 2019 9:10 pm

    Barry was a man of strong faith in God, an accomplished musician, a good husband, and a good friend, that I had very much respect for. I will miss him, it helps to know that he is resting now in the arms of Jesus. We are all blessed to have known him.

  10. B.J. Jackson
    May 4, 2019 9:46 pm

    I will have to say “Ditto” to all of the comments above. He was just one of the best!! There is never enough time on this earth. But, oh what a happy day that is ahead. We will join in the best celebration ever in our eternal home. The promise is true and by faith we accept the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. See you soon Barry. God continue to comfort you Pam and family and friends. I love ya’ll.

    Bet

  11. Richard and Carole Cox
    May 4, 2019 9:46 pm

    Richard and I were so surprised and sad to hear of Barry’s passing. I will miss greeting him every Sunday morning in the band when we saw him. We will miss him at NHC playing for our services on Sunday afternoons. We willl miss his sense of humor and wise comments. We will just miss him so much. We loved looking over on the other side of church and seeing you two sitting side by side and loving each other. We know life will be hard for you but we also know you have a loving God who will love and comfort you. God bles you Pam.

  12. Renée Kellum
    May 4, 2019 10:12 pm

    My heart is broken “for us”, but so happy for Barry. He was a powerful witness and inspiration to all who knew him. I am so thankful that my life was touched by his wisdom and heart for God.
    Pam we love you so much and we will be covering you in our thoughts and prayer.

    Love, Renée Kellum

  13. Vickie Lee
    May 4, 2019 11:58 pm

    Barry allowed his love of Jesus to shine through in his caring nature. Barry touched our lives and was such a supporter and encourager. It was an honor to call him friend.

    We are praying for you Pam.

    In Christ,
    Ricky and Vickie Lee

  14. Brenda Brasher
    May 5, 2019 7:28 am

    “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” Matthew 5:15 KJV
    This is how Barry lived his life. Sweet, gentle and kind. But most of all he loved the Lord and it spilled over into every corner of his life. I met Barry and Pam so many years ago that I’ve lost count. If time had passed between your last meeting with him you’d never know it by his reaction to meeting up with you again. He was loved by so many and will be missed by so many. Life is all but one fleeting glance and Barry lived his well.

  15. Lisa Flowers
    May 5, 2019 8:25 am

    I well remember Barry working to clean up the church basement after the great floods. I later learned that his own house had received damage. He chose God’s house before his own house. Love to Pam.

  16. Larry and Ruth Walker
    May 5, 2019 9:49 am

    Such a kind and thoughtful friend who leaves
    quite a void in the church. He was so welcoming
    when we came to Harpeth Heights and we witnessed him sharing his love and many talents with others.
    We are remembering his family in our thoughts and prayers. Larry and Ruth Walker

  17. Susan Brown Ralph
    May 5, 2019 12:27 pm

    I have know Barry my entire life as well as his sweet family. Barry and I go from church to work. Prayers for peace and comfort to his family. Rest In Peace my friend. Susan Brown Ralph

  18. Ed Loyal
    May 5, 2019 1:04 pm

    Barry really understood what it was to be a deacon since he had a servant’s heart. He shared his talents and service so willingly. Blessings to Pam and family.

  19. Gale Jetton
    May 5, 2019 3:21 pm

    Barry was such a wonderful example of what a Godly man should be. On the choir mission trip to Brazil, he carried his guitar in its case everywhere if needed. Never complaing, never got the opportunity to play it during the whole time. He was always ready to serve anyway he could. Pam and Barry’s marriage was so beautiful to watch. Some people never experienced this Godly marriage that they had. Well done by his Savior is what he heard.

  20. Todd Green
    May 5, 2019 4:42 pm

    I had the pleasure of serving Harpeth Heights Baptist Church for almost 16 years. Barry was a HUGE part of my ministry there and he became a dear friend to me. He was so talented. I will miss him terribly. He was a gentle, spiritual giant.

  21. Luanne Grandinetti
    May 5, 2019 8:38 pm

    I worked with Barry at TDOT. I can honestly say he was one of the nicest man I’ve met. So sorry for the family and circle of friends.

  22. David G.
    May 5, 2019 11:31 pm

    A few years after starting a second career at TDOT downtown, my friend Tim Hayes invited me to join a bluegrass jam group that met for about an hour every Friday at noon. I had dabbled with guitar for many years but had never played music with others. Barry Rawls was the unofficial “ramrod” of the group and was quick to put to rest any apprehension I had about playing with others. He and Mike Singleton tolerated my mistakes and offered tips that helped me play better. As the years passed and the band (informally known as the “Plaza Pickers”) improved, we were honored to play at many official TDOT functions including the Commissioner’s Christmas receptions and several “Diversity Fairs” sponsored by the TDOT Civil Rights Office. The band’s highpoint was to play at a private function in the State Capitol building hosted by Commissioner Schroer for the Transportation Commissioners (and their wives) from the southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Although both he and Mike Singleton had retired some weeks earlier, They came back to play one last time. During the reception, Barry and Mike were recognized by the Commissioner for their professionalism and commitment to the Department. Those were good times.

    For the few years I was privileged to know Barry and call him my friend, I was impressed with his humility, his consideration and respect for others, and his devotion to G-d. He was a positive influence in many people’s lives and in the end made the world a better place.

  23. Michelle Mangrum
    May 6, 2019 9:24 am

    To be in the presence of Barry and Pam, you knew their love for the Lord, their Church and people. I met them years ago through HHBC. As the years went by, our paths would cross again. I always had a love for music. I purchased an old fiddle as it was my favorite instrument and told myself I would learn to play it someday. It had sat in a closet for years when I reached out to Pam to ask if Barry happen to give lessons. This was the beginning of my weekly time in their home. Barry was always so patient and kind. He told me when I first began with him that his goal was 2 years. That as a teacher, if he did his job, I wouldn’t need him after 2 years. When I began taking lessons from Barry, I remember telling him that one day when he thinks I’m ready, I wanted to learn a particular song. He raised his eyebrows in typical Barry fashion and told me that was a tall order as it is a difficult one for a beginner. Ironically, a week before his passing, just shy of our two years together he would give me that song…Ashokan Farewell. At the time I didn’t know it would be our last. I am heartbroken that such a beautiful soul was taken much too soon from all of us. Even though we grieve deeply for our loss here on earth; there is a peace that comes from knowing that without a doubt the sweet music continues on in heaven.

  24. Patty (Minton) and Jimmy Moon
    May 6, 2019 9:48 am

    We bumped into Barry a little over a month ago and enjoyed a wonderful reminiscent talk with him. We discussed old times and current family news with him. Our family often stayed with the Rawls when we were visiting in Nashville and always had a great time. Barry was a great little kid and a very nice man. We had planned to get together with him, his wife and mutual friends soon.
    See you in heaven, Cousin.

  25. Nermine Nashed
    May 6, 2019 10:09 am

    Mr. Barry – May the Good Lord repose your beautiful & kind soul in the paradise of joy, and may HE give consolation to your family & all your friends. you were a remarkable person and a wonderful musician.
    I will keep your family & friends in my prayers all the time.
    And I know now we have another Angel in heaven, you pray for us.

  26. Carolyn Stonecipher
    May 6, 2019 11:03 am

    I worked at TDOT for many years and became acquainted with Barry through the blue grass group that played at lunch on Fridays. My mother was a talented musician and for her 90th birthday, I planned a party for her. I asked the group if they would play and allow her to play keyboard with them. Barry, Tim Hayes, and Dave Goodman came and played. She had a wonderful time and talked about it for months. They gave us their Saturday and would not allow me to pay them anything. This is just an example of the kind things that Barry did for people he hardly knew. We are all richer for having him cross our path.
    My deepest sympathies for the family’s loss . You have comfort in knowing exactly where he lives now, with Jesus. God bless you.

  27. Jamie Bedgood
    May 6, 2019 11:57 am

    I will deeply miss Barry as we had such a strong relationship for over 11 years. Please let Pam know I’m thinking of her now.

  28. Cheryl Harleston
    May 6, 2019 12:33 pm

    Barry was always faithful to entertain us with his musical talent during our Diversity Fair here at TDOT over the years. . He had a kind and sweet spirit; a spirit that you knew he had a relationship with the Lord. Prayers and condolences to the family.

  29. Clyde Hicks
    May 6, 2019 2:57 pm

    I knew Barry from his days at the Tennessee Department of Transportation. I had the pleasure of working with him on several State Wide Contracts. He was always prepared and a dependable collaborator.
    But his love for music is where I knew him best. Several TDOT and other State employees would spend our lunch hour on Fridays playing Bluegrass Music on the War Memorial Plaza. People would come by and listen; tourists, school children touring the Capitol, other downtown workers eating their lunch on the plaza… we just played. We even tried to get close to lower Broad during CMA week to play to as many people as possible. On day we collected $56 in our guitar case. We all enjoyed lunch with our earnings.
    Keep on pickin’ Barry… Harp lessons are free in Heaven!

  30. Phyllis McPeak
    May 6, 2019 3:24 pm

    Pam—I haven’t seen you for a while, but think of you often, especially now. The loss of someone we love is not a good experience, but just knowing that your husband, Barry is resting with God is the greatest blessing. No pain, no suffering
    just complete peace. What more could you want for such an amazing person.
    I pray the Holy Ghost comfort you and keep you focused on what is important.
    I love you Pam and I am very sorry for your loss, but I know you are a strong person, and God is always there for you.

    Phyllis McPeak

  31. Robert S. Nakamoto
    May 6, 2019 3:54 pm

    Barry was a truly great man and musician. Although he was one of the most talented musicians I ever played with or listened to, he was also one of the most humble and encouraging. Barry was always looking for ways to help others learn to play better. He was able to multi-task in order to accomplish this. He was the only person I’ve ever seen sing, call chords, play, and call changes at the same time. He was an awesome singer, banjo player, guitar player, bass player, and fiddle and mandolin player. Barry taught guitar to my three sons and all of them think very highly of Barry. Barry was a real game changer in many of our lives for the better. No matter how good, or how bad, any of us played, Barry made all of us sound better, and knew how to cover up when we lagged, and encouraged us, in his own gentle and humorous way, to continue to strive for excellence. Above all Barry displayed the love of Jesus Christ in all that he did. Barry has passed on his love of music, and his love of Jesus Christ, family, friends, and the Church to thousands of us. He will truly be missed but we know that one day soon we’ll see him again!!!

  32. Sue and Alan Durham
    May 6, 2019 8:47 pm

    Barry was a good man. Known and interacted with him at TDOT, For years. He talked of the family he loved and his Lord. Prayers to all the family. God Bless.

  33. Fran Herrin
    May 7, 2019 2:41 am

    I am deeply saddened by Barry’s passing.. I worked with Barry for 15 years at TDOT.. He was always thinking of others. I will miss hiss silly jokes and pranks. Pam you are in thoughts and prayers..

  34. T.L. Lineberry
    May 7, 2019 10:58 am

    I was honored to join Barry and Pam earlier this year for dinner and great TN hospitality. We played music until the neighborhood was all asleep. Truly a wonderful guy and amazing musician. He’s now playing at the greatest level ever for the audience of One. He will certainly be missed by all who knew and loved him. Thank you Barry for making the world a better place. “The Lord is my strength and song.” -Poppa T

  35. Jennie McIntyre
    May 7, 2019 6:29 pm

    What a finean he was. Everytime I hear the song Amie I remember playing and singing with him at TPAC!! We had so much fun! He will be missed!

  36. Karl Craun
    May 7, 2019 9:28 pm

    I had the privilege and honor of working with Barry while in Contracts Payable at TDOT. I recalled that we would sometimes briefly recall scriptures just as our work discussions ended. I wish to express my deepest sympathy to Pamela and all members of his family and the many friends who are missing him. He was a great guy and we enjoyed a very good relationship. I regret that I did not have him as a mountain dulcimer teacher. I will remember him for all my days on this earth. I will be praying for family and friends.

  37. Connie Gilliam
    May 7, 2019 11:24 pm

    I knew Barry from working at TDOT, he was an honorable man whose words always echoed with kindness. Barry was a true servant of the Lord by demonstrating it with his actions and his words. TDOT was fortunate to have someone like Barry serving the State of Tennessee.
    Praying for his wife and family members.

  38. Sue Kramer
    May 8, 2019 10:04 pm

    Carolyn, Allen and are so sorry for the loss of Barry. You, Jim, your Mother and family are in our prayers! May God comfort you as only He can! Lam. 3:22-23- His mercies never fail!

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