Debra "Debbie" "Ma" Dale (Nicholson) Barnhardt

June 8, 1962 ~ April 11, 2021 (age 58)

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On April 11, 2021, Debra “Debbie” “Ma” Dale Nicholson Barnhardt was lifted up by the Good Lord in a peaceful sleep. She was preceded in death by her husband James “Kenny” Barnhardt, III.

Survivors include her mother, Merle Fortson Upright and Step-Father Calvin Upright both of Kannapolis, along with two sisters, Pam King and Starr Hinson both of Kannapolis, a son, James K. Barnhardt, IV “Jake” and his wife Jennifer A. Barnhardt of Kannapolis, and two grandchildren Emily and Calvin Barnhardt.

Ma, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, in-law and Granny was loved by all.

She had been employed with Hardees’ on the Loop since 1984. Yes, Since 84!! She won biscuit competitions year after year mixing and rolling out the dough, following every step she had ever learned! She received plaque after plaque along with other rewards, working as one of the best biscuit makers around. As she was very highly dedicated to her job she still enjoyed taking a vacation to the beach which she loved. She enjoyed making runny sand castles and just sitting in the sand listening to the waves crash to the shore and relaxing.

She was a member of First Episcopal Methodist Church.

The family will schedule a memorial service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to First Evangical Methodist Church, 301 Prince Street, Kannapolis, NC 28083

Whitley’s Funeral Home is serving the family of Mrs. Barnhardt. Online condolences may be sent to

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