William Michael Barnes



June 1, 1942 – February 24, 2023

William Michael Barnes, a renowned businessman, engineer and philanthropist passed away on February 24th, 2023 at 80 years old.

Born in Luling, Texas to William Edward Barnes and Hannah Jane McCrory, Mike graduated at the top of his class in Waelder, Texas and married his high school sweetheart, Sugar Stubbs. Though his incredible journey began with a basketball scholarship to Wharton Junior College, Mike was a dedicated and lifelong Aggie: he continued and completed his education at Texas A&M, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and his doctorate in Operations Research.

During his time at A&M, Mike served as president of Alph Pi Mu and was member of Tau Beta Pi. While working on his PhD in 1967, he served as a Texas A&M instructor, teaching maintainability engineering to Army engineers at Red River Army Depot. In 1968, he was an A&M expert consultant to the Postmaster General in Washington, D.C., automating the new zip code system. He also taught Operations Research to graduate engineers at SMU.

Mike went on to spend 33 years with Rockwell International, where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He received the Leonardo da Vinci Award as one of Rockwell’s Outstanding Engineers. After retiring from Rockwell, he served on the Board of Directors of four New York Stock Exchange listed corporations.

Together with his wife Sugar, Mike endowed an Industrial Engineering department head chair, a professorship in Industrial Engineering, and created a major endowment for the department at Texas A&M. Through the Rockwell Foundation, Mike funded A&M engineering professorships and labs. He served as a charter member of the Chancellor’s Century Council and was a member of the Engineering Advisory Board.

Mike was named an Outstanding Alumnus of both A&M’s Dwight Look College of Engineering and Department of Industrial Engineering. He was the inaugural recipient in 2009 of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the statewide Texas Council of Industrial Engineering Department Heads. In 2016, he was named Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M, and in 2019, the department was named the Wm Michael Barnes Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in his honor.

Mike was heavily involved in the community, serving on the Orange County Business Council and in the governorship of the Town Hall of Los Angeles. He was also a member of the Alexis of Tocqueville Society in support of the United Way and supported the Witte Museum through capital campaign fundraising events at his home in San Antonio.

Mike is survived by his beloved wife Sugar, his son William Bradley (“Brad”) Barnes (Texas A&M Class of ’90), his grandchildren, William Alexander (“Alex”) Barnes, William Luke (“Luke”) Barnes, and Madeline Tarianne Barnes, and his great-grandson William Harrison Barnes.

Mike’s contribution to the field of engineering, his philanthropic efforts, and his dedication to Texas A&M and his community will be greatly missed.

Please join the Barnes family as they celebrate Mikes’ life at 10:30 AM on Monday, March 6, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church, 404 N. Alamo Street, San Antonio.

Interment will be at a later date and private for family at Waelder Cemetery in Waelder, Texas.

You are invited to sign the Guestbook at

Arrangements with



SAN ANTONIO, TX  78212 – (210) 227-8221