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Born in the Findlay Hospital on September 29, 1932, Jim was the son of Russell and Lucile (Steen) Barnhill, both now deceased. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family Friday, December 30, 2022. His long battle with Alzheimer’s is over. He is free!
His education included Washington Elementary, Glenwood Junior High, and Findlay High School graduating in the class of 1950. He attended Denison University for two years and then graduated from Michigan State University in 1954.
Following college graduation, Jim was drafted for two years by the U. S. Army spending fourteen months in Germany. After military service, he taught one year in Carey Schools and the returned to Bowling Green State University for a Master of Science degree in biology.
While in Carey, Jim met a fellow teacher, Joyce Bowman, and in 1959 they were married and began a wonderful, loving, relationship having four children: Carolyn Barnhill, Westerville; David (Marsha) Barnhill, Findlay; Susan (Daryl) Donley, Dublin; and Nancy (Ron) Rook, Bloomdale.
The family now enjoys and are proud of a new generation of Travis (Shannon) Barnhill, Janelle (Nate Gillen) Barnhill, Josiah Rook, Rebecca Rook, Olivia Rook, and great-grand children Cameron David, Kohen Joseph, and Micah James Barnhill.
An important part of Jim’s life was his sister, Joan (Lawrence) Decker of Royal Oak Michigan, a niece and numerous nephews and their families.
During the fourth year while teaching in Woodville, Ohio, Jim was asked by “Doc” Phillips to return to Findlay High School where he taught biology for twenty-nine years. (He rode his bike to work many of those days, even winter days.) During this time, Jim received much recognition for his teaching success including the C. Robert Baker award, the Dow Chemical Outstanding Science teacher, and the Jennings Scholar award, plus the Ohio House of Representatives Arbor Day award.
While teaching was his vocation, activities at the family farm such as beekeeping & hosting wood cutting parties, and gardening were his avocations. Jim was a member of the Northwest Ohio BeeKeepers Association and a Master Gardener for many years.
After retirement in 1992, Jim was most active in serving the community as a volunteer. For twenty-nine years he was a member of the Findlay Shade Tree Commission, he tutored elementary students after school at Howard Methodist Church, served on several scholarship selection committees, and gave presentations to various groups on beekeeping and gardening topics. He often served his neighborhood with complimentary brush and yard waste removal composted at the farm.
Jim and his wife, Joyce, were active members of Christ United Methodist Church in Findlay for over fifty years. During these years, he served a lay leader, chairman of the administrative board, trustee, Sunday school teacher, and choir member.
His family is proud to know that Jim has impacted so many lives from hundreds of biology students to city tree recipients to every stranger he ever met. Jim’s life was full, long, and blessed.
Thanks to ALL who helped in his care at Fox Run, Sunrise Assisted Living, and finally at home. Bridge Hospice provided daily care for several years while he was at home along with many other aides and family members. We will be forever grateful to all for your compassion and service.
Visitation for family and friends will be 1:00-3:00 and 5:00-7:00 on Friday, January 6 at Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home at 500 Lima Ave, Findlay, Ohio 45840. Also, there will be a visitation 10:00-11:00 Saturday, January 7 with the funeral service at 11:00. Burial will follow the funeral in Maple Grove Cemetery Findlay, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made in Jim’s name to Bridge Hospice, 15100 Birchhaven Ln., Findlay, Ohio 45480 or Journey at Christ Church/UMCOR, 225 West Bigelow Ave., Findlay, OH 45840.
Online condolences may be shared via www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com.
Bridge Home Health and Hospice
15100 Birchaven Lane, Findlay OH 45840
Journey At Christ Church/UMCOR
225 West Bigelow Avenue, Findlay OH 45840