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BARNHART -- Charles E. Barnhart, the former chairman of the Albuquerque City Commission and a well-known Albuquerque attorney and engineer, died Thursday, June 28, 2007, at Anna Kasemann Hospital, following a short illness. Barnhart, 85, was a native New Mexican. He was born January 9, 1922, in Santa Rosa, NM to Mae E. and Charles L. Barnhart who homesteaded a ranch nearby before New Mexico became a state. He was a member of the city commission from 1967 to 1971. For two years, he was chairman of the commission, which was the equivalent of mayor. At Santa Rosa High School, he played all four years of football for the Lions, not that he was so fond of football but because there weren't enough boys to make a team without him. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1944 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and received his jurist doctor degree in law from UNM in 1959. Barnhart married his college sweetheart, Kathleen Claire Williams of Carlsbad, on January 1, 1944 in Albuquerque. In August 1944, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy as an ensign. He served aboard the USS Waupaca in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres until May 1946, coming out of the war as a lieutenant (junior grade). On his return to civilian life, he embarked on an engineering career, working on projects in Los Alamos and Albuquerque. Barnhart was a member of New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers from 1949 to 1965, serving as president of that organization in 1950-51. Barnhart worked as a sole practitioner attorney in Albuquerque from 1959 to 1968. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a partner in the law firm of Hannett, Hannett, Cornish & Barnhart. He was also a partner in the Barnhart & Oliver firm and owner of Barnhart & Associates law firm. He retired from active practice in 1986 but remained a member of the New Mexico Bar Association until 1994. He developed Van Cleave Place in the 1980s, a Southeast Heights manufactured home community. Over the years, he also served on the Mayor's Citizens Advisory Committee on the use of the San Juan-Chama Diversion Project water, the Rio Grande Water Assembly, the City Parks and Recreation Commission, the boards of All Faiths Receiving Home, Gov. Jerry Apodaca's reorganization task force for the State Highway Department, Heights General Hospital, the Elephant Butte-Caballo Leaseholders Association, the Albuquerque Airport Advisory Board, and the New Mexico Manufactured Homes Association. "Charlie Barnhart was a dynamic, intelligent and hard-working man, whether it was as a city commissioner, an engineer, a lawyer, or family man," said a nephew, Richard Williams. "He was the perfect example of America's Greatest Generation, serving in the Navy in World War II, working a long career as an engineer and then becoming a lawyer at mid-life, when some people are already looking at retirement." "On top of that, he served in elective public office on the City Commission with people like Harry Kinney and Pete Domenici, was a member of the board of Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute, and still had time for all sorts of other volunteer work in the community," Williams said. "In our family, Charlie was our greatest source of pride." Barnhart was a 32nd Degree Mason and a Shriner. He is survived by, Kathy, his wife of 63 years; his son, Charles R. Barnhart and wife, Molly Shaw; daughter, Amy Richardson Hatch; son, John David Barnhart, all of Albuquerque; and son, Joe Alan Barnhart of Santa Clara, CA; brother, Roger A. Barnhart and wife, Gloria and their daughter, Gerri Barnhart, of Albuquerque; grandchildren, Ryan Charles Hatch of Phoenix, AZ, Kathleen Richardson and Kimberly Barnhart, both of Albuquerque; cousin, Norman Barnhart and wife, Millie; nephew, Richard Williams and wife, Madeline Dunn, of Albuquerque; and a niece, Sharon Barnhart Dodge and husband, Dr. Anthony Dodge, of San Antonio, TX. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Leroy and Mae Barnhart and brothers, Joe and Wayne Barnhart. A memorial service will be held Friday, July 6, 2007, 10:00 a.m., at French Mortuary, Lomas Blvd. Chapel. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul NE. Pallbearers will be Charles R. Barnhart, John David Barnhart, Joe A. Barnhart, Ryan Charles Hatch, Richard Williams and Isaac Adams. Honorary pallbearers will be Roger A. Barnhart and Norman Barnhart. Friends may visit French Mortuary, Lomas Blvd. Chapel, Thursday, July 5, 2007, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to The Ranches, 6209 Hendrix Rd. NE 2FL, Albuquerque, NM 87110-1334. French Mortuary 10500 Lomas Blvd. NE (505) 275-3500 www.frenchmortuary.com
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