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Philip E. Barnhart

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Barnhart Philip E. Barnhart, 86, passed away on June 19, 2017 at Friendship Village of Columbus. He was born in Indianapolis on September 2, 1930 to Wilbur and Mabel (Stutzman) Barnhart. He was educated in the public schools of Indianapolis and at Manchester College where he graduated with a BA in physics and mathematics. His interest in astronomy was nurtured at Manchester. Philip did graduate work in astronomy at Indiana University (MA) and Ohio State (PhD). He was appointed to the faculty at Otterbein College in 1959. He was director of the Weitcamp Observatory. Philip was a colorful and popular professor; he was an outstanding mentor to students and younger colleagues. Philip was a founding member of the North American Astrophysical Observatory (NAAPO), an organization chartered to save and continue operation of the "Big Ear" Radio Observatory in Delaware OH. He retired from Otterbein in 1995 after a distinguished career in teaching and research. In retirement, he continued his interest in science and in astronomy. His book 'Creative Science', an historical and philosophical survey of scientific discovery, was a culmination of his ideas on how science should be taught and understood. Philip is preceded in death by his wife Esther May (Loxley) Barnhart, his parents, and brothers James and Richard. He is survived by his son, Eric Barnhart; his daughter, Laraine Walker; and daughter-in-law, Donna Harrop; grandchildren, Heather Barnhart, Ashley Walker, and Dakota, Cheyenne, and Savannah Crawford; great-grandchildren, Alison, Lawrence, Austin, and Carson; and many nieces and nephews. Philip and Esther were avid bird watchers and wildlife lovers, who traveled extensively to observe and photograph birds in migration. A memorial service will be held at Friendship Village of Columbus on July 22, 2017 at 2 p.m. Remembrances and condolences may be shared at www.HillFuneral.com


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 29, 2017
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