LEXINGTON, Ky. -- – Lexington has lost a civic leader. Fifth Third Bank President and CEO Samuel G. Barnes died Tuesday after he went swimming off the coast of Glynn County, Georgia. He was in Georgia for his son's upcoming wedding.
In a statement, Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry said the 64-year-old Barnes was a consummate gentleman.
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of Lexington's finest citizens and my good friend Sam Barnes. Sam never hesitated to contribute to our community, both personally and through his leadership at Fifth-Third Bank. Our community lost a great business leader, a great civic leader, and a great man."
Since coming to central Kentucky in 1993, Barnes saw Fifth Third grow to 19 banking centers with some 250 employees.
He was a member of Transylvania University's Board of Trustees, worked with Commerce Lexington, the Downtown Lexington Corporation, and United Way of the Bluegrass.