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January 18, 2022

10/27/2021 1:59:00 PM
Jerald Barnhart

Jerald Barnhart, 92, lived and died in Christ on October 7, 2021 at Point Pleasant Heights.

A memorial service was held at Lindstrom United Methodist Church,  with Pastor Chris and Jerry’s sons sharing scripture and music.

Jerry was born in Aberdeen S.D. to Elroy and Marcella Barnhart.  He accepted Christ as Savior and was confirmed in the Methodist Church. He graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1948 and received honors for his cornet work in band, orchestra, and dance band.  

When Jerry enlisted in the Army he took his cornet and puppet friend Archie Cobb to Japan in 1949 and Korea in 1950. He played in the 8th Army band and then, with Archie, joined a Special Services road show for seven months on the 38th parallel during the Korean War. He was discharged in 1952 and passed a College GED test, and graduated in 1955 from U. of South Dakota with a Radio/TV major. Jerry worked at KELO- AM / TV in Sioux Falls and later WSMI near St. Louis.
Always an active Methodist, Jerry felt the call to ministry and he earned the B. DIV. at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, IL.  In 1961 he was ordained in the South Dakota United Methodist Conference. He served his Lord in Illinois, Eastern South Dakota and Minnesota in churches, plus 10 years as chaplain in three nursing homes in Mankato.  He later transferred and served as minister in the United Church of Christ from Rochester, retiring in 1995 with 50 years total in the ministry.  

Always a theater and music fan as participant, he directed and acted in plays in Japan, as a theater minor in college, community theater and with Archie doing ventriloquism for children's moments in worship services.

Jerry was a life member of the DAV, VFW and 30 years as American Legion Chaplain for two posts and as State of MN Chaplain. He was also Legion 40 & 8 Chaplain. He was trustee-chaplain at the inception of the Soldier's Field Memorial in Rochester since its 1996 ground breaking. In 1997, he incorporated the non-profit cable TV series, "Vet's Visits on TV" and grew it to 360 Minnesota outlets and 31 states. He produced the monthly series for 15 years. He also produced a weekly music TV series titled World Music Festival for four years sharing this with over 30 cable channels.

He married his second wife, June in 1983 in Mankato and later in retirement moved to their Rochester home.   After June's death in 2015 he moved to independent living at Point Pleasant Heights in Chisago City to be near son Norm and family.  He continued to record a variety of interview and music programs for the Chisago Lakes Public Access Cable system. He was an active member of First United Methodist in Lindstrom.

Jerry is survived by first wife Dorothy and sons Norm (Mia), T. Scott (Sharon) and Weston (Miyuki) and their five children Jasmine, Jason, Sarah, Nicole, Thor and five great grandchildren Avery, Daniel, Max, David Jr. and Jodah. Thirty loving years were shared with second wife, June whom he cared for seven years with Alzheimer's.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; baby brother Donald and sister Linda. Jerry's organs are donated to Mayo's Aging Research.  

A memorial graveside service was at the family plot in Riverside Cemetery in Aberdeen, SD with VFW and American Legion Honor Guard and a local U.C.C. clergy.

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