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Founder of long time Coastal Bend tradition passes away

However, if you ask those who knew him, the first memory of Barnes, is that of a man who exercised tremendous humility.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For 40 years, it has been a Corpus Christi tradition to go to Candy Cane Lane, and it will continue this year without one of the people who started it.

Since the early 1980's, families have celebrated Christmas in the Coastal Bend by loading up the car and experiencing the magic of the holiday season through the sights and sounds of Candy Cane Lane.

Elain Barnes is one of the people who inspired the annual nod to the coming noel.

Children achieved a wide-eyed sense of wonder, and parents had another reason to say "yes" to the yuletide spirt.

Barnes passed away this month at the age of 89.

However, if you ask those who knew him, their first memory of Barnes is that of a man who exercised tremendous humility.

Jon Roberts, Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, said he presented himself as who he was.

"I would describe him as an un-anxious presence in the midst of anxiety,” Roberts said. “ He didn't talk about things he had done throughout his life. He didn't talk about being a war veteran. He didn't talk about 35 years at CCAD. He didn't talk about over 100 Eagle Scouts in 40 years in scouting. He didn't talk about those things, he just presented himself as who he was."

Roberts was his pastor for over a decade and said he will miss the man whose unassuming way served as a model for others.

"He had a phrase that he said to me every Sunday after every sermon. He would say, 'Live, learn, love and leave a legacy,'" Roberts said.

Christmas will be a little different this year for members of the Barnes family, but the gift he has given the city will shine brightly for years to come.