Merril Barnhart, 97, of
Portland, OR, and formerly of Searsboro, died Sun-day, Apr. 21, 2019, in Portland.
A visitation will be held from
9-11 a.m. on Friday, May 3, at Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell. A graveside
service with military honors will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday at the
Searsboro Cemetery with Pastor John Epperson, Grinnell Regional Hospice
Chaplain, officiating. A reception will follow at the Searsboro Community
Memorials may be designated to
the Searsboro Fire Department or Grinnell Fire Department, mailed in care of
the Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 368, Grinnell, IA 50112. Memories and condolences may be shared with
the family online at www.smithfh.com.
Merril Philip Barnhart was born
the son of Philip J. and Mary E. (Livezey) Barnhart on Jan. 18, 1922, in
Searsboro. He was raised in Searsboro and attended Searsboro High School. He
graduated from the Elk River High School in Elk River, MN, in 1939.
Merril joined the United States
Coast Guard in 1943 in Portland, OR, and was a Motor Machinist’s MateFirst
Class. He was honorably discharged in 1945 in San Francisco, CA. He returned to
Portland and was a career fireman of the Portland Fire Department, serving for
over 31 years, retiring on Feb. 2, 1972.
Merril liked to travel and he
traveled to many foreign countries as well as in the United States. He liked to
hunt pheasants, deer, and elk in the Northwest with his brother and friends. He
liked to come back to Iowa and Minnesota to visit his sisters and their
Merril is survived by his
sister-in-law Elaine Barnhart of Sequim, WA; niece, Katherine Arment of
Grinnell; nephews, Douglas Barnhart of Poulsbo, WA, Dale (Cyndi) Barnhart of
Sequim, WA, Dennis Watson of Searsboro, Douglas (Carol) Watson of Clear Lake,
Larry (Karen) Kasheimer of Oklahoma City, OK, Kenneth (Patricia) Kasheimer of
Madota Heights, MN; many great-nieces and nephews; great-great-nieces and
nephews; and friends.
Merril was preceded in death by
his parents; his sisters, Mabel (Joe) Watson, Glema (Arthur) Kasheimer, and
Lola Barnhart; brother Duane Barnhart; and his niece, Karen (Watson) Fulayter.