The Christian Life Done Right – Michael Barranco

Today we had the funeral for our University architect, and my friend Michael Barranco.  I never could have imagined his would be a funeral I would attend.

We turned away hundreds of people today when the Center for the Arts filled to capacity with 800 people and dozens stood in the isles for two hours.  For the visitation last night, over 1,800 people came to pay their respects.


Michael Barranco did it right …

… he did architecture right

… he did marriage right

… he did father right

… he did music right

… he did community leadership right

… he did creativity right

… he did grace right

… he did justice right

… he did service right

… he did caring right

… he did friend right

… he did hope right

… he did the Christian life right


I admired Michael so much that I wrote about him in my book, The Longview, because I’d seen him respond to a challenge that might have ruined any other friendship.  But he was filled with such Godly grace that we came through it stronger than ever.

The situation I describe in the book was the capstone story for the chapter titled, “The Joy of Minimizing Conflicts of Interest” because Michael was such an example of how Christians should do business.

Potential conflicts of interest do not need to become so.

Not long ago, I faced the prospect of selling property to my architect, who is the son-in-law of my former vice president for development, who lives down the street, who sings with in my church choir, and who is a major donor to the school. Definitely playing with fire in the conflict of interest arena.

But we worked together through the process, which was filled with more tough challenges than we ever anticipated – and there was a lot of money at stake. We had frank, upfront discussions, applying the principles of Stool, Whip, and Chair, and came through it as closer friends who had benefited tremendously from the transaction.

In truth, dealing with potential conflicts candidly and transparently will honor God’s working in our organizations. And when done right, these situations will become some of the greatest joys of longview leadership.


Michael BarrancoMichael Anthony Barranco, 48, died Tuesday February 22, 2011 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Tunica, MS.

Michael Barranco was first and foremost a man of God. Michael’s faith in Jesus Christ was the cornerstone of his character, his marriage, his family and his work. He was a man who lived a life that may have seemed brief but it was by no means “unfishished.” He squeezed every moment of life out of every day. He never wasted any of his life. And he lived without regrets.

In Jackson and beyond, Michael will be remembered for many and varied passions and involvements. He was a 1980 graduate of St. Joseph Catholic High School ? where many of his best loved memories were on the football field. He was a man committed to Scouting from his earliest days as a boy with his father, John S. Barranco of Jackson. Michael achieved his Eagle Scout Award and was a member of the Order of the Arrow and was currently serving on the advisory Board of the Andrew Jackson Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In recent years Michael continued his love for scouting by founding the Boy Scout troup at Redeemer Church in North Jackson, where he and his family also worshipped.

Michael was perhaps most remembered in Mississippi for his skills as an artist which manifested themselves in his work as an architect and as a musician. Michael graduated from Mississippi State University in 1985 with a BA in Architecture and has been one of the most influential architects in the state of Mississippi in recent years. He was the past president of the Mississippi chapter of the American Institute of Architects and was currently serving as the president of the Mississippi State Board of Architecture. Michael was the formulator of the idea of a Mississippi Charrette which, with the help of many colleagures, resulted in the Mississippi Renewal Forum which led to a remarkable collaborative endeavor in response to the devastating hurricane Katrina of 2005.

Additionally, Michael loved music. In fact he and his wife of 24 years, Jene Ray Barranco met at Poet’s in 1986 where Michael performed regularly with the Andy Hardwick Trio. Though he is probably more well known for his work with the Bluz Boys and more recently with the Barranco Brothers.

Michael, a native of Jackson, is survived by his wife, Jene Ray Barranco and their three children, Mia (18), Julia (14) and Michael Anthony, Jr. (12). He is also survived by his parents, John S. Barranco, Sr. and Camille Griffith Barranco of Jackson; brother, John S. Barranco, Jr. of Nashville; sister, Pam Barranco Jew and Sam Jew of Jackson; brother, Vincent Barranco of Nashville; and sister, Lesa Barranco Nuzzo and Al Nuzzo of Jackson. He is also survived by 15 nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be 5-8 pm, Friday February 25, 2011 and 1pm Saturday at the Belhaven Center for the Arts on Riverside Drive in Jackson. Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Saturday February 26 2011, at the Belhaven Center for the Arts. A private burial service will follow for family. Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Ridgeland is assisting with the arrangements.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, will be used to set up the Michael Barranco Boy Scout Fund and Redeemer Church where Michael established a troop as a ministry outreach to the underprivileged boys in the local community. To donate contact Scott Marshall at 601-714-1668

4 thoughts on “The Christian Life Done Right – Michael Barranco

  1. My sincere condolences to Michael’s loved ones. I was web surfing and happened to run across this obituary. I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

    I used to sing with Andy’s Trio at Poet’s when I lived in Mississippi years ago and that’s how I came to know Michael. He was so very talented and such a sweet person. I’ll never forget him and how kind he was.

  2. I want to express a heartfelt sympathy to the entire family and friends of Michael Anthony Barranco.
    I am the daughter of the late Charles Pascal Barranco. He went to be with The Lord in 2000. I regret I didn’t get to know Michael, I realize I’m a cousin of the beloved Michael. I feel honored to have met Jene Ray and Mrs Camille Barranco recently at a church in Jackson. I understand John S. Barranco was Dominic M. Barranco’s brother. My sisters and I are so happy to have found part of our Paw Paw’s family.!!! God is good all the time, thanks to Jene’s blogs we were able to connect and discover this history.
    Grace & Peace
    Susan Barranco DeGruy

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