Harley E Barnhart (Col., USAF, Ret.), age 94, died on April 22, 2017 peacefully at home after living a long and fulfilling life. At his request, there will be no services.
Harley was born in Akron, Colorado in 1922 to Harley and Helen Cleary Barnhart. Most of his childhood was spent in Santa Ana and San Diego, California, but he graduated from high school in Twin Falls, Idaho. He studied at The College of Idaho (BA) and Stanford University (MA).
Colonel Barnhart was commissioned in the Army Air Force in March 1944 from the Aviation Cadet program and subsequently completed a combat tour with the 95th Squadron, 82nd Fighter Group, based near Foggia, Italy. Placed on inactive reserve after the war, he returned to active duty in 1947 and served until retiring in 1974. Later assignments to units with mission aircraft included the 80th and 36th Fighter Squadrons in Korea and Japan and the 28th Bombardment Wing, Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. He spent much of his career in Air Training Command and the Air University (Command and Staff College and Air War College). Other assignments included duty as a plans officer at Hq. USAF, at Hq. US Southern Command (Canal Zone), and at Hq. 7th Air Force (Vietnam). He retired to a home in Fairfax, Virginia and then moved to Sarasota, Florida until returning to Idaho (Post Falls) in 1984.
Harley's principal avocations were photography and mycology. His photographs of mushrooms and other fungi appeared in several popular field guides and magazine articles. He also contributed articles and book reviews to amateur mycological journals.
Harley was preceded in death by his first wife, Hildred Bragg Barnhart, by a younger brother, George, by an older brother, Robert, and by his second wife, Catherine Belser Scates Barnhart (Kit), who died in 2003. Catherine was a renowned instructor in mycology and mushroom identification, and the two had traveled extensively together pursuing their shared interest.
Mindful of approaching demise, he composed an epitaph. As no tombstone is planned, he requested its publication here.
Beneath this sod, at length stretched out,
lies one whose mind was prone to doubt.
No hopes of heaven did my passing know,
much though I would that it were so.
But if, upon some far off morn,
I awake to the sound of a trumpet horn
To find the faithful basking in heaven's glow,
while I get directed down below,
I can only say, as I'm prodded along,
"This ain't the first damn time that I been wrong."
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