Robert Barnhart Obituary

Robert M. Barnhart
Robert M. Barnhart

May 15, 1920 - October 7, 2019
Born in Casstown, Ohio
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Bob Barnhart was born May 17, 1920, in Casstown, OH. He was the son of Mankin and Virginia (Holsinger) Barnhart. He grew up in farming communities in the area and attended New Carlisle High School, becoming the oldest surviving member of the class of 1938.

After graduation he worked with his father and brothers building houses. He worked at other occupations as well, including factory jobs and machine shop work. Bob met his lifelong companion, Hilda Shellabarger, in Ohio, and they were married June 21, 1942. Hilda and Bob were married 62 years, raising two sons, Steve and Bill, and one daughter, Barb. The family lived in New Carlisle, OH, Champaign, IL, and Urbandale, IA.

Bob was drafted into the Army in 1943, serving proudly with the 11th Armored Division of Patton's 3rd Army in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria. He was a mechanic and Master Sargent, responsible for maintenance of battle tanks throughout Patton's campaign across Europe. The 11th Armored Division, led by the tanks that Bob supported, liberated the Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Linz, Austria, in May of 1945.

Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Bob returned to Ohio to start his family and eventually became a loan office manager with General Finance Corporation, retiring in 1983. Following retirement, he worked part-time for Crescent Chevrolet in the finance and collection department.

At passing, Bob was the oldest living member of Masonic Lodge No. 100 of New Carlisle, OH. He was a member for 73 years.

Bob was a lifelong accomplished woodworker, building in his shop until he was 97. He was an avid hunter and fisherman spending as much time as possible with a rod and reel in hand.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Barb Knau (Dave); daughter-in-law, Donna Barnhart; five grandchildren, Jeff Barnhart, Stephanie Liggett (David), Casey Cameron-Barnhart (Bobby Jo), Brian Knau (Alicia), and Sarah Sicht (Jordon). Bob is also survived by 12 great grandchildren; three nieces and a nephew.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Hilda; brothers, Joe and David; sister, Mary Ann; and sons, Steve and Bill.

The family is especially grateful to the staff at the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center for the wonderful care and attention for the past two years of Bob's great life. They also want to thank Hospice of the Midwest for the care and compassion they showed Bob and his family.

Memorial services will be 1:30 p.m. Monday, November 25 at Iles Westover Chapel. The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until service time. Private urn burial will be at McDivitt Grove Cemetery, Urbandale. Memorial contributions can be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.





Memorial Visitation
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, November 25, 2019
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Memorial Service
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, November 25, 2019
1:30 PM


Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
National Headquarters, 6520 - N. Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL United States 33308-2132