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Laurence J. "Barney" Barnhart


1916 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Laurence J. (Barney) Barnhart

Barney Barnhart, resident of Hearthstone Cottages in Ellensburg, died peacefully on march 19th in the presence of his wife and nephew.

Barney was born on July 18th, 1916 in Bear Spring, Montana, to Hanna and Herman Barnhart. He was the second of five children. He attended the one-room elementary school in Bear Spring until he was old enough for high school. He then moved to Denton, MT and lived in a boarding house. He graduated in 1935. During this time, he met Altha Cross.

In 1934, in the depths of the Depression, Altha and her family moved to Prosser. After graduation, Barney follwed her. He worked at various agricultural jobs, and pursued Altha in his spare time. They got married in 1939 – 72 years ago.

In 1943, they bought a 20 acre farm near Prosser. Barney spent the war years growing food for the war effort. He grew hay, oats, milk cows, chickens, and eggs. All during the war the farming was done with horses. After the war, he was able to buy a tractor, and experimented with other crops, like mint and turkeys. In about 1957, he go a job at the WSU Experiment station in Prosser. It was a perfect match - he could grow anything they wanted, even if it was weeds. He continued there until he retired in 1977. They lived on the farm until 2008, until failing health forced them to move to Royal Vista, and then Hearthstone in Ellensburg.

Barney had many hobbies in addition to his major interest- gardening. In the late 1950's he took a correspondence course and learned to fix radios and TV's . He later bacame a rock hound, and spent years collecting and cutting rocks and making jewelry.

Barney is survived by his wife of 72 years, Altha; sister-in-law Ruth Cross of Ellensburg, brother-in-law Jack Cross (Arlene) of Mt. Vernon, nine nieces and nephews: Michail Cross (Susan) of Snohomish; David Cross (Carol) of Ellensburg; Debi Leitholt (Les) of Spokane; Cyndi Loveland (Dale) of Ellensburg; Lorena Denny (Rick) of Tacoma; Larry Cross of Seattle; Patty Merrill (Brian) of Chelan; Wes Cross (Sue) of Seattle; Cecelia Bellcross (Wayne) of Atlanta; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.

An informal memoral service will be held between 1:00 and 4:00pm on Suday, March 27th, at the home of Cyndi Loveland; 2409 N. Delphine St.; Ellensburg, WA. 509-933-2140.

Arrangements under the care of Affordable Funeral Care, 509-925-2902
Published in Daily Record from Mar. 22 to Mar. 30, 2011
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