Barney Austin “Hardrock” Holmes was born December 9th,1960 in Ogden, Utah to Austin R Holmes and Enid Lee. He was the youngest of 7 siblings. Barney passed away peacefully at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah on March 31, 2021, with his loving family by his side.
After spending his early childhood years in Ogden, Utah, Barney’s family moved to Jackson, Wyoming in the early 70’s. He continued his schooling in Jackson, Wyoming and graduated from Jackson Hole High School in 1979, with his favorite sports being football, wrestling and saddle bronc riding. He was an accomplished athlete in all of them. He was the President of the Jackson Hole High School rodeo team in 1978-79. He also loved to play his guitar and sing. His band known as “Teton Thunder” played during his high school graduation. After graduating, he went on to study at the University of Wyoming.
His family founded and operated Snake River Park, located south of Jackson, where family recreation, camping, scenic & white-water float trips, fishing trips and trail ride cookouts were offered. Their family were one of the first to operate white water float trips down the world-famous Snake River Canyon. Barney was one hell of a boatman and spent many hours on the river guiding float trips & trail ride cookouts, fishing trips as well as strumming the guitar and singing tunes around the campfire entertaining the guests for many summer seasons. During the fall and winter seasons, he guided Hunting trips for Spotted Horse Ranch and Snowmobile Trips for Jackson Hole Snowmobile Tours for several years.
When Snake River Park sold in 1979, the family moved to Hoback Junction, better known to residents as “Hoback Nation ''. They began Holmes Construction, builder of custom log homes, and decorative log designs and excavation work. The family harvested a lot of their own timbers and converted one of the old school buses from Snake River Park into a logging truck to haul the logs. Barney was a master craftsman at a young age. He was a senior in High School when he built his first log home with his signature window design, located on Saddle Butte. He continued, along with his dad and Brothers, building many homes around the valley including, Solitude, Kings Highway, Ditch Creek, South Park, Hoback Junction, West Gros Ventre Butte, Thayne, Hoback Ranches and Bondurant throughout the years. They also furnished Camp Creek Inn & Cabins with their LodgePole and Rawhide Furniture designs, as well as building many custom log archways, gates and railings for many homes around the valley. Barney was also the man to call for his backhoe work; his expertise at excavating and snow removal was sought after and appreciated by many, especially his neighbors!
He cherished his many travels down the Baja Peninsula, Canada, and Alaska along with his family fishing and camping on the way. He also loved hunting and most recently traveling and exploring the outdoors from Montana to Arizona on his Side by Side with family and friends.
Barney met his wife Kelly Scott in 1978, when he rescued her in front of Snake River Park from a flat tire on her car. They were inseparable ever since and married July 7, 1984 in Jackson, Wyoming. They timbered logs from the cliff creek area to build their custom log home next to his parents in Hoback Nation. Throughout these many loving and adventurous years they raised their daughter Tayler Lee and son Austin Keith where they continue the family business today.
Barney’s passion for rodeo continued throughout the years. He traded his bronc saddle for a rope to pursue the sport of Team Roping and became a very talented roper. He loved to rope with his family and friends and teach his kids and others the love of the sport and dedicated his passion for rodeo to the Jackson Hole High School Rodeo Team as a volunteer, coach and sponsor for over 30 years! He loved traveling across the state every weekend to either a Junior, High School, College rodeo or jackpot cheering his kids and others on as they competed in their rodeo events.
Barney was a very loving son, brother, husband, father, uncle, cousin, friend and role model to many. He was very generous, selfless, loved people, had a huge heart and always had a big smile! His unique character and sense of humor is unsurpassed. Hoback Nation lost an icon and Hardrock is deeply loved and greatly missed by many. His wishes were to have his ashes spread in several special locations.
Barney was Preceded in death by his grandparents Robert Axel and Blanche (Austin) Holmes, Faye and Golda (Locks) Lee, and his parents Austin R Holmes & Enid Lee Holmes.
He is survived by his wife Nova Kelly Holmes, daughter Tayler Lee Holmes and son Austin Keith Holmes; brothers Barry Holmes (Marcia) of Ogden, Utah, Mike Holmes (Cheryl) of American Fork, Utah, Johnny Holmes (Deb) of Estes Park, Colorado; sisters Paulette MacFarlane of North Salt Lake, Utah, Jacki Steed of Ogden, Utah and Sheron Bass (George) of Kaysville, Utah.
The Holmes Family sends their sincere appreciation to St. Johns Health, San Diego Clinic, Huntsman Cancer Institute and all the doctors, nurses and staff for their excellent care and compassion for Barney.
Kelly, Tayler, and Keith wish to extend their sincere gratitude to family members, friends and the community for your kindness, love, support and generosity during this difficult time and especially for blessing Barney’s life in so many ways throughout the years.
Special thanks to the Bar J Chuckwagon for hosting Barney’s Celebration of Life scheduled for Sunday, September 12th, 2021 at 2:00 pm. 4200 W. Bar J Chuckwagon Rd. Wilson, WY. 83014. We sure hope you will join us to share refreshments, a story and memory or two of Hardrock.
Celebration of Life
Life Story Info
What a wonderful kind sensitive guy. I was always so happy to see Barney.
Kelly his beautiful wife was so perfect for him. Probably the most equal, honest, pure love of anyone I have ever known at least from my perspective. I can see them when I was young and the guys threw Barney in the swimming pool as the helicopter lifted Kelly off the ground at their wedding. I still have the rocking chair you both gave at my wedding to JB. Barney was always an understanding person and friendly, accepting and a smile worth a pot of gold. Kelly, You have my most sincere sympathy. I am sure this is tearing you apart. All I know to do is send love.Katherine Bond
Such incredibly sad news… knew Barney very well years ago.. went our different ways.. his closer to home. I saw him awhile back when I had a contract out at the Junction… we spoke a bit.. talked of older times. An incredibly soulful person.. easy going and loved the cowboy life. Travel well pard, 🤠😔🙏🙏🙏
Arizona side by side ride with Barney, kelly, Jodi, drew, Rich Leann , Zach and Brittany