Lt. Col. USAF-retired James Edward Barnard, 94, a long-time Merced residentPublished 11:11am Thursday, February 13, 2014
Lt. Col. USAF-retired James Edward Barnard, 94, a long-time Merced resident, died Dec.14, 2013.
He was born March 9, 1919, in Fergus Falls, to Edna and Arthur Barnard. A 1936 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, he appeared in two class plays and was business manager of both the school paper and the senior annual.
In addition, he was scribe to his Scout troop and Yeoman to his Sea Scout ship, and Master Counselor of DeMolay.
While attending the University of Minnesota, he was president of PHALANX honorary military fraternity, the dormitory Social Council and camera club, editor of the dorm newsletter and business manager of the senior annual.
Three days after graduation with a business administration degree and a commission as a 2nd Lt. in the Army of the United States, he was called to active duty and sent to the Quartermaster School in Philadelphia.
Upon completion of the course he was assigned to the original cadre forming the Basic Flying School in Merced, Calif., where he was appointed accountable for all QM property on the fledgling base.
Orders from Washington assigned him to a QM maintenance unit being formed at Davis-Monthan Field at Tucson, Ariz. This required more schooling at Normoyle QM depot, San Antonio, Texas.
He returned to Merced to marry Ceva Bryan on July 4, 1942, before shipping overseas to England.
While at sea, the auto maintenance and supply function was transferred to the Ordnance Dept. so on arrival at 8th AF Bomber Command HQs, he was transferred and assigned as Ordnance Auto Supply Officer on the bomber command staff and later on the Air Force staff.
He returned to the states in time for Christmast 1943 and with his bride was assigned as CO, and later, group Ordnance O., for a model Service Group processing like units for overseas at Lakeland, Fla.
This led to yet another school in heavy unit maintenance at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
From there he again headed overseas to become the Ord. Off. of the 13th AF Bomber Command in the Pacific.
At the end of the war his time in the UK made him eligible for early return to the states and he was assigned to bring home a Signal Corps unit that had been monitoring Japanese radio traffic from the Philippines and disband the unit at Camp Stoneman, Calif., in time for Christmas 1945.
Upon reverting to civilian life, he worked as Officer Manager for the Range Desoto-Plymouth dealership and later for Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., of Merced-Modesto.
In 1961, he acquired a public bookkeeping and tax business which he operated for 33 years before retiring in 1994. During this time he also served a couple of years as Auditor-Controller of the Merced Irrigation District.
After the Air Force was established he transferred to the AF Reserve and eventually became the leader of the Merced unit. He had several short tours of duty for training at Castle and the Maxwell Command and Staff School, Montgomery, Ala. His last tour of active duty was as Seminar of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He was active in the Merced Jaycees, Kiwanis Club of Greater Merced, a 50-plus-year member of American Legion Post 83, a life member of the Castle Air Museum, and the Heritage Society of the University of Minnesota.
He was predeceased by his wife, Ceva, of nearly 60 years; and his sister, Jean Nunes of Minnesota. He leaves behind his daughter, Jana Rhoades (Charles); a grandson, Shawn Rhoades; great-granddaughters, Cianna and Braelynn Rhoades, all of Peoria, Ariz., a granddaughter, Stephanie Rhoades of Dallas, Texas; nieces Debbie (Mike) Alexander of Merced, Victoria (Lynn) Scoggins of Atwater (Victoria recently passed on Jan. 10,2014); Patricia (Merle) Elsing; and Nancy (Kim) Hellstrom, of Minnesota; nephews Kenneth Nunes, Thomas Nunes, and Richard Nunes of Minnesota; and many great- and great-great nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be sent to the The Mary Helen Richards Trust for ETM (Education Through Music) in care of Laura Walter, 268 Donner Ave., Ventura CA 93003.
A memorial service and reception is planned at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Park Merced, 3050 M St, Merced, Calif., with burial planned at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, in San Joaquin National Cemetery.