In memory of
Barney Milton Padgett, 81, of Moody, Ala., died peacefully in his sleep Saturday, June 27, 2020. An Alabama native, Barney was born in Phenix City where he grew up picking cotton and corn on the family farm before marrying the love of his life, Elsie, and moving to Birmingham to start a career selling cars. He was a Ford man and in the 1970s, enjoyed local fame as the pitchman for Lonnie Russell Ford, where he worked as general manager. A popular commercial that aired in the Birmingham market featured a voiceover saying, "The boss said…" with Barney delivering his catchphrase "Let 'em go." His screen presence was stilted but the commercial sold a lot of cars. Barney was a natural salesman who loved people. He was famous for chatting up telemarketers when they made cold calls to his phone. He sold cars and then boats, opening Barney Padgett Marine in Irondale and eventually buying Rabbit Branch Marina in Cropwell, where he was known for hosting a weekly Friday night fish fry. After decades of a successful career in cars and boats, he retired to work for his oldest daughter, Kim, and son-in-law Lee Stewart, at Stray Cats Home Dcor in Birmingham. For 20 years, he ran the shop and sold furniture, but cars were in his blood. So in 2019, he quit the store and came out of retirement to open Barney's Auto Sales in Odenville, Ala. Barney was an avid outdoorsman, raising and showing cutting horses and fishing at Smith and Logan Martin lakes. He couldn't swim himself but taught three of his five children by simply throwing them off a pier and telling them to kick their legs until they made it to shore. He loved his coffee black and bottomless, and was known for telling big fish stories as dramatic as movie plots. He was a voracious reader of Louis L'Amour novels. Barney is preceded in death by his wife, Elsie; his brothers Eddie and Bill, and his parents Cecil and Edna. He is survived by his daughters Kim Padgett (Lee Stewart), Sonya Padgett, Whitney Padgett (Jeremy Dozier), and Dana Standifer (Ryan); son Keith Padgett, and grandchildren Skylah, Jeremiah, Addison, Noah and Sadie. His kids and his dog Mikey miss him terribly.
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