George H. Barnhart Jr., longtime fire volunteer

George H. Barnhart Jr.
George H. Barnhart Jr.
Posted: August 16, 2014

 George H. Barnhart Jr., 83, a longtime volunteer with the La Mott Fire Company in Elkins Park, died Sunday, Aug. 10, at his daughter's home in West Chester.

Formerly of Oreland, he died from heart failure, said his son-in-law, Brian Burlingame.

Mr. Barnhart had wanted one last trip to the Jersey Shore and got his wish. His family went with him to Ocean City for a week on the beach. A local hospice attended him, and the Ocean City firefighters helped carry him up and down stairs.

"George had a great time, just as he had planned and wanted," Burlingame said.

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Barnhart graduated from North Catholic High School and served in the Army during the Korean War. He made his living by owning and operating a car body repair shop in Philadelphia.

Mr. Barnhart was a 65-year volunteer with the La Mott Fire Company. He served for a time as deputy chief, and as treasurer for the last 30 years.

"He did it all on ledger paper, with a pencil and an adding machine," Burlingame said.

Cheltenham Fire Marshal Joseph W. O'Neill said in an e-mail that Mr. Barnhart loved the fire service. "He was always on an even keel. Always at the firehouse. And not just sitting around. Involved. Whether responding to a fire, or in administration."

O'Neill said Mr. Barnhart always appeared with his signature pipe between his teeth.

He also was known for his firm handshake and his attention to detail; he wore his blue duty uniform clean and pressed, even while briefly confined to a nursing facility, said John J. Mulligan, chief of the La Mott Fire Company.

In addition, Mr. Barnhart was treasurer of the Oreland Swim Club for 20 years. He loved the outdoors: hunting, camping, hiking, and wading in the ocean.

He was married to Gloria Tippett Barnhart, who died in 1999. He is survived by a daughter, Susan B. Weise; a son, Mark H.; three grandchildren; and three sisters. Another sister died earlier.

A visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 15, at the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, 410 N. Church St., West Chester. A Funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at SS. Philip & James Roman Catholic Church, 107 N. Ship Rd., Exton. Interment is private.

Contributions may be made to the La Mott Fire Company, 7600 Penrose Ave., Elkins Park, Pa. 19027.


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