James M. Barnhart, 88, of Sandusky, died early Wednesday morning, April 23, 2008, in Ohio Veterans Home, Sandusky, after a brief illness.
He was born Jan. 20, 1920, in Delta, Ohio. Jim attended public schools in Delta, Swanton and Oak Harbor, where he graduated in 1938.
He then went to Dodge Radio Institute in Valparaiso, Ind., where he graduated in 1941.
James served in the U.S. Navy, aboard the USS Riley DE 579, from the time the ship was first commissioned.
The USS Riley went to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Mediterranean Sea. He served in the Navy for three years and 14 days.
He was employed as radio engineer at various stations, WGTC of Greensboro, N.C., WGKV of Charleston, W.Va., WTOL of Toledo, WHTN of Huntington, W.Va., and in 1947 he came to Sandusky to help build WLEC, where he was until 1961.
In 1961, he went to work at the NASA Plum Brook Reactor Facility, where he stayed until the facility was closed in 1973. Jim was a member of St. Stephen United Church of Christ, Sandusky, where he served on the Church Council, the Board of Christian Education and the Even Stephens of the Church.
He was also a member of the Sandusky Radio Experimental League, with his call letters being 'W8UQF', the Men's Garden Club of Erie County, and the Men's Garden Club of America. For more than 50 years, Jim provided the Memorial Day PA system at Oakland Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Martha Root; one daughter, Lorinda S. Barnhart of Sandusky; two cousins, Virgil Barnhart of Ohio Veterans Home and Walter Barnhart of Dayton, Ohio; one brother-in-law, Thomas Fronizer of Whitehouse, Ohio; a niece, Shelley Maiberger of Tiffin; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse L. and Florence E. (Smith) Barnhart.
Friends may call from 10 a.m. Tuesday until memorial services at 11 a.m. in St. Stephen United Church of Christ, 905 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky, with Pastor Liz Proudfoot officiating. Private committal services will be in Union Cemetery, Oak Harbor.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stein Hospice Service, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870; or to St. Stephen United Church of Christ, Millennium Fund, 905 E. Perkins Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870.
Pfeil Funeral Home, Sandusky Chapel, 617 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, is in charge of arrangements.