On September 23, 2020 at 1:36 pm, surrounded by her faithful loved ones and close friends, the world lost the compassionate warrior, Soncera Kymberli Barney. While those two words seem to be an oxymoron, Kymberli was a hopeful fighter who believed in bringing out the best in people and instilling the power of hope in them. She did so by reminding us that hope is a necessary act of defiance that is the key to victory.
Though her mother had been told for years that she was unable to carry a child to term, Kym was, miraculous, born a fighter on February 11, 1978 to mother Gwendolyn Holmes, father Kevin World, and stepfather Ronald Windall Holmes Jr. Kym went on to help her mother raise her two sisters, Chanel and Danielle Holmes – providing them with compassion, hysterical memories, wisdom, and strength to overcome any challenge throughout their formative years and adult lives. Throughout their childhood, Kym helped her mom teach her sisters how to be unyielding, yet humble.
Their household was filled with hundreds of joyful memories, times of triumph, and diverse tastes in music, movies, and art that filled each room. Kym’s addictive spirit made any place she occupied feel welcoming. Friends and family far and wide would agree that the Holmes/Barney household is considered “home” thanks in large part to Kym and her ability to uplift others when they need it the most.
Kym married the love of her life – high school sweetheart Frank Miguel Barney on June 22, 1996. Cherishing the love of her life was one of Kym’s greatest honors. Kym and Frank’s irrevocable bond is a testimony of what relationships should aspire to be. Defying the same challenging odds her mother was up against, Kymberli refused to let her diagnosis of infertility stop her from carrying and raising four beautiful children. Kyra, Jaiden, Jordan, and Kaelyn Barney are admirable, generous, funny, and strong embodiments of Kym and Frank’s love.
In addition to devoting her life to her family and friends who loved her dearly, Kym devoted the rest of her heart to making the world a better place as an educator, writer, philanthropist, and activist. Kym taught with the Liberty County Board of Education for more than 20 years. Beyond grammar and composition, Kym was determined to educate people of all ages on the importance of having a voice, being self-reliant, and living with humility. Her charisma was so powerful, it continues to inspire others to be more selfless, undeniable, and confident. She has gone on to mentor former students to aspire to be educators -- just like her. Her selflessness didn’t stop there.
As an advocate, educator, and unofficial counselor to thousands of people who struggled to conceive, Kym offered her infamous hope, wisdom, and guidance to others who shared the same struggles. In doing so, Kym created an international community of friends who became enchanted by her charm, healed by unwavering empathy, and undeniable testimony of triumph in the face of adversity. In her most selfless act of kindness, Kym carried a child for a family who was unable to do so on their own.
Though the world became a little dimmer this September, we have to remember Soncera Kymberli Barney was a light that cannot be extinguished. Her spirit is present in every anonymous act of kindness she continues to inspire. It is in every classroom she’s ever touched as a teacher, student, and peer. It dwells in that nagging need to always use correct grammar “unless you’re creating an aesthetic that sets the tone of a story.” It is a reminder to find a career that brings you so much joy that you dance down the halls. It is an encouragement to share your life with someone who loves you to the moon and back four times. It is every life that is made better by her family and friends’ determination to change the world for the better.
If you and your family would like to pay your respects to the life and love of Soncera “Kym” Barney, there will be a Celebration of Life ceremony on Saturday, October 17th from 2:00 -4:00pm at Bryant Commons in Hinesville, Georgia. Due to the pandemic, we do require that each person practices safe social distancing and wears a mask throughout the duration of this event.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Soncera Kymberli Barney, please visit our flower store.