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Robert B. Barnett

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Robert B. Barnett Obituary

Col. Robert Boyd Barnett

90, a resident of Indianapolis passed away at Franklin United Methodist Community on Friday, October 7, 2011. He was born January 4, 1921, on the Barnett farm just west of Amity in Johnson County, Indiana, to Albert Raphael and Alta (Fix) Barnett.

His wife, Louise (Dragoo) Barnett of 31 years, passed away in 2009; former wives, Dr. Margaret Barnett and Patricia Barnett; brother, Richard W. Barnett; and nephew, Marvin Stubbs, preceded him in death. His daughter, Patty Barnett (Colorado Springs, CO); son, Lowell Barnett; sister, Margaret Stubbs Nicholas (Morgantown, IN); nephews: Rick Barnett (Naperville, IL); Barry Barnett (Amity, IN), and Les Barnett (Lebanon, OH), and niece, Judy (Stubbs) Roseborough (Denver, CO), survive him.

In 1939 he graduated from Edinburgh Community High School receiving the highest award in science. He received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Indiana University and became interested in a military career as a member of ROTC at I.U. He attended Purdue University one semester prior to transferring to I.U. He graduated from Officer's Candidate School at Edgewood Arsenal, Edgewood, Maryland; The Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; The Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia; The Chemical Corps School, Fort McClellan, Alabama; Army Command School and The Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and received Honorary Alumnus of The University of Indianapolis.

A combat veteran of World War II he served in the Central and Southern European campaigns in the 90th Chemical Mortar Battalion. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest. Assigned to the Chemical Warfare Division in Germany, he was among the first to cross the Rhine River after the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen (a major history-making event of World War II). A few of his numerous assignments include inspecting all U.S. Missile Bases; Chemical Officer of the U.S. Army Air Defense Command; Assistant to the Commanding General of Chemical Warfare in Washington; Chief of Radiological Branch, Chemical Corps School; Chief Chemical Officer for the Vietnam Government in Saigon; Personnel Management Officer, Colonels Division; Officer Personnel Directorate, Department of Army; Professor of Military Science at Iowa State University.

Decorations include: Legion of Merit Medal; Army Commendation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Commendation Medal.

The Library of Congress has a permanent collection in Veterans History of his personal military history on audio and video tape, as well as his military correspondence, diaries, and photographs. He served our country with great valor and retired with the rank of Full Colonel and 31 years' active military service.

Bob and Louise were long-time members of University Heights United Methodist Church and its Homebuilders Sunday School class. Memberships: American Legion; Association of the U.S. Army; Retired Officers Association (Indiana and National); Scottish Rite; Murat Shrine; Alexandria-Washington Masonic Lodge No. 22, Alexandria, Virginia; National Sojourners; Indiana University Alumni Association; The Service Club of Indianapolis; past President (4 years) of Propylaeum Historic Foundation, Inc., Indianapolis; past Board of Directors of Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union; volunteer for Meals on Wheels and the 1987 Pan American Games.

In 2001 he was the "Mystery Guest" of Edinburgh Community HS Alumni Association (the oldest high school alumni association in Indiana); he concluded his speech by stating: "Education is important, but it is of little value without motivation and morality."

Services will be at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 11 in University Heights United Methodist Church, 4002 Otterbein Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227. Visitation will be from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m., Monday, October 10, in Singleton Community Mortuary and Memorial Center , 7602 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis, 46227 (317-885-7585) and one hour prior to the service at the church. Internment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Franklin. Memorial contributions in memory of Col. Robert B. Barnett are welcome to the Johnson County Community Foundation, 398 South Main Street, Franklin, IN 46131. http://www.singletonmortuary.com

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Oct. 9, 2011
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