PIQUA — Thomas W. Barnett, 85, of Piqua, died at 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton.
He was born on May 11, 1928, in Piqua, the son of the late Barnard K. and Madonna (Wilson) Barnett. He married Regina Mae Grunert on Aug. 6, 1950, in St. Paul's Evangelical & Reformed Church, Piqua. She preceded him in death on Nov. 7, 2008.
Tom is survived by two daughters and a son-in law, Michelle Barnett-Underwood, and Antoinette "Toni" B. and Joseph Thompson, all of Piqua; eight grandchildren, Blaise (Krysti) Underwood, of Lebanon, M. Dasch (Megan), of Piqua, Chase (Jessie) Underwood, of Piqua, Jenna Barnett, of Piqua, Joni Barnett, of Columbus, Nick, Alex and Aaron Thompson, all of Piqua; one great-grandchild, Georgia Underwood, of Lebanon; and one sister-in-law, Kay Grunert, of Piqua. A nephew and five nieces also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Michael Lachat Barnett and Thomas Dale Barnett; a son-in-law, R. Scott Underwood; and a brother-in-law, Edgar Grunert.
He graduated from Piqua Central High School in 1946. He played trumpet in the marching band and was a singer with a couple local bands of that era. He was a member of St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church and sang in its Chancel Choir for many years.
Tom was an award-winning newspaper journalist, with a career spanning 68 years. He began writing for the Piqua Daily Call while still in high school, and over the years he worked his way up to the managing editor position. He was also managing editor of the New Carlisle Sun and Tipp City Herald newspapers. He unofficially retired from the Herald, then went to the Sidney Daily News, where he worked an additional 12 years as a reporter. He retired January 31, 2013, and the city of Sidney proclaimed it as "Tom Barnett Day" in recognition of his journalistic achievements. Through the years, he taught and mentored hundreds of students and new staff writers at his papers. He especially enjoyed speaking with journalism majors at the University of Dayton. Tom also enjoyed fishing, reading and following the Cincinnati Reds.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014, at Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home, Piqua, with Pastor Kenneth Stewart officiating. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua.
Friends may call from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Miami County, P.O. Box 502, Troy, OH 45373, or the Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development, 1306 Garbry Road, Piqua, OH 45356. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.melcher-sowers.com.