Thomas "Tom" Barnhart

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Thomas J. Barnhart was born on March 5, 1916 in Portland, Indiana to his parents Ed and Ruth Barnhart. He was raised on a farm in the Portland, Indiana area. Tom attended and graduated from Poling High School. He passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus in Visalia, California at the age of 95 on May 13, 2011. Tom and Louise T. Shoemaker met not too long after they graduated from high school and married in March of 1937. They had 70 plus years together before Louise passed away in September of 2007. Together they brought two children into this world, a son Jerry born in April 1938 and a daughter Patricia born in July 1941. Tom spent over 35 years in Civil Service most of them spent at the Portland, Indiana U. S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier. Tom and Louise were hard workers - they farmed the old home place while Tom carried the mail and at times had another side job and Louise worked at Montgomery Wards. Tom served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as a Pharmacist's Mate and was honorably discharged in January 1946. Tom and Louise were life long members of the Nazarene Church. Tom remained a charter member of the Sugar Grove Nazarene Church that was built in the grove on the farm where he was raised and where his children were raised. In their retirement years Tom and Louise done some traveling which included spending three winters in Florida. The last 15-20 years were mostly spent in California and the biggest share of them spent in Visalia. The family thanks God for Dr. David Bryson and all his great staff at the Bryson Cancer Care Clinic for their care of Tom, as well as Park Visalia Assisted Living and all the staff for their love, kindness and care for the last seven years. Tom was preceded in death by his daughter, Patricia Paxson and his wife Louise Barnhart. He is survived by his son Rev. Jerry Barnhart and wife Jan; Grandchildren, Pam Hauschel husband Dennis, Anna Marie Gerken husband Ralph, Debi Barnhart, Kim Shipley husband Todd, Bronson Barnhart wife Kim Sue, Leatha Reitz husband Wayne, and Sherry Courter. Several great grandchildren and some great, great grandchildren. From his daughter Patricia Paxson; grandchildren Bruce Paxson, Zachary Paxson, Wade Paxson, Jennifer Johnson, and several great grandchildren. A celebration of life memorial service will be Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 11:00 am at the Pavilion located inside the Visalia District Cemetery, 1300 West Goshen Ave., Visalia, CA. Following the celebration of life you are invited to a luncheon at Visalia Mobile Estates Clubhouse, 2627 W. Midvalley Ave., Visalia, CA. In lieu of flowers, a gift of remembrance may be given to the Kaweah Delta Hospice, 900 W. Oak, Visalia, CA 93291. Arrangements made by Smith Family Chapel, Exeter, CA. Condolences may be made at

Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register from July 2 to July 6, 2011
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