James Edward “Eagleheart” Barger, 80 of Findlay, died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 10, 2023 near Marion, Ohio. He was born in Lima, Ohio on June 19, 1942 to Donald D. and Ruthann (Hammond) Darnell. He was adopted in January, 1946 by Wallace C. and Mary A. (Ridge) Barger of Tiffin, where he was raised. Graduating from Tiffin Columbian High School in 1960, he entered the United States Marine Corps serving as an Aviation Radio Technician, where he earned honors for outstanding performance. He was one of the original employees of Continental Cablevision and worked there for many years before starting his own broadband telecommunications consulting and construction businesses. He served as Chairman at RotaMax and BargerTech International with his son Eric, for several years in the rotary engine manufacturing business. BargerTech International eventually branched out to offer sustainable food, renewable energy and clean water 4AWL.
In 1961 he married high school sweetheart Kathleen Ann “Chum” Mathias at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. They had 10 children, James E. Barger II (deceased), Jeffery A. (Jennie) Barger of Findlay, Wallace Paul Barger (stillborn), Eric R. (Stephanie) Barger of Forest, Melanie E. (Anthony) Adams of Findlay, Rachael S. (John) Grimpel-Barger of New York City, Mary A. (Robert) Dunn of Findlay, Anita K. (Jason) Parsell of Findlay, Rebekah R. (Mitchell) Barrett of Findlay and Benjamin A. (Briana) Barger of Kamiah, ID. Their 38 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter were his pride and joy and he loved them all unconditionally. Their immediate family tree numbers 110.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son James E. Barger II, grandson Jarrod T. Barger, grandson Evan A. Zeller, grandson Joseph J. Barger, grandson Nelson D. Barger, great-granddaughter Kaylie M. Barger, great grandson Chase M. Wickman, half-brother Larry Darnell, half-sister Cindy Sealscott, brother William Barger, sister Joan Ernst, sister Patricia Schmidt. Surviving in addition to immediate family are sister Susan R. (Robert) Huckoby, half-sisters Barbara (Terry) Hietcamp and Doris R. (Gary) Reinert. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, cousins, church kids who all called him “Grandpa Jim”, and tons of friends all over the world.
In 1972 he determined to follow Christ and became involved in Royal Rangers, a mentoring ministry for boys and young men, where he served locally, nationally and internationally – many years as the elected president of the National Royal Rangers Council. Jim conducted training for Royal Ranger leaders in Australia, Malaysia, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Fiji, Singapore, Finland, and Nepal as well as extensively throughout the USA. His family was one of the founding families of New Life Assembly of God in Findlay, where he served in many positions including board member and facilities director. He is a past president of the Findlay Area Youth for Christ and Secretary for the National Royal Rangers Camp at Eagle Rock, Missouri. He worked building churches in Mexico, Bolivia, and Malawi. His church family was especially close to his heart. A noted storyteller, he was much in demand as a motivational, inspirational speaker traveling throughout the USA.
On two separate occasions he made extended intercessory prayer treks into Tibet, culminating in a circumnavigation of Mt. Kailash. Three months were spent teaching in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Chaplain’s School in New Sudan where 96 soldiers were being trained in Biblical knowledge and pastoral methodologies. He authored articles appearing in various trade and religious periodicals as well as 2 books based on his travels in Tibet, “Invading the Mountain of Darkness”, and Israel, “Discovering Israel”.
Jim enjoyed trolling for walleye on Lake Erie, deer hunting, football and NASCAR, but his greatest joy was being with family. He hopes to meet each and every one in heaven. Week long reunions, first Mathias Mass Meetings then Barger Bashes, were a family staple since 1975.
Visitation will be 2-8pm, Friday, June 16 at New Life Assembly of God, 3120 Norcrest Street, Findlay, OH. A second visitation will be held from 11am-1pm with a funeral service immediately following on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at Winebrenner Seminary, 950 North Main Street, Findlay, Ohio with Rev. Dutch VanDerVlucht officiating. Interment to follow at Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, with military rights by the Hancock Veterans Memorial Squad.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting memorial contributions be made to New Life Assembly of God Royal Rangers, 3120 Norcrest Street, Findlay, Ohio 45840.
Online condolences may be shared with the family via www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com
Royal Rangers c/o New Life Assembly of God
3120 Norcrest Street, Findlay OH 45840