A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Elton Arthur BARNUM
From The Mining Journal
, Marquette, Michigan, Harvey - Elton Arthur "Barney" Barnum, 84, formerly of 1082 Ortman Road, Harvey, died early Saturday, October 7, 2006, at Eastwood Nursing Center in Negaunee, where he had resided since 2001.
Elton was born on June 20, 1922, in Lansing, Michigan, to Arthur Ward and Laura Mae (Pomfret) Barnum. He was raised in the Lansing area and attended Lansing Central High School, graduating in 1941. Elton met his wife, Senora Susan Webster, while they were attending Walter French Junior High School, and she helped in the library where his aunt was the librarian. They attended different high schools and dated others, sometimes even double dating together. They were always referred to as, "Together Forever", and were married August 1, 1945, when he returned from the Pacific Front. The couple moved into Eastwood Nursing Center in February 2001, and she preceded him in death November 7, 2004.
Elton joined the Marine Corps and was accepted for Naval Aviation Cadet flight training, receiving his wings and commission as an officer and a gentleman in April 1944. He flew in the Pacific Front during World War II. He was recalled to military service in July 1951, as a Marine Corps Helicopter Pilot and, during his second tour of duty in the Korean Conflict, served as a helicopter flight instructor and assistant personnel officer at Quantico, VA. He became qualified to fly numerous helicopters and fixed winged aircraft. While in Korea, as a Captain in the Marines, he flew over 100 seriously wounded soldiers from the front lines to medical facilities, flying the Bell 47 helicopter. While stationed at Cherry Point, NC, with air rescue duty, he performed over 130 flights in response to emergency situations, including several night operations and many in inclement weather. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, Korean Medal, United Nations Medal, Commendation Ribbon, and Bronze Star (in place of 2nd Commendation Medal).
Following his honorable discharge from the Marines, Elton worked in the Olds Plant in Lansing and then attended Tri-State College. He loved flying, and when the chance to get back in the air was available, he went to work for Brantley Helicopter. From 1956 to 1966, he was an engineering test pilot operating the Brantley B2 throughout the U.S. and Canada. For several years, he was operations officer and manager of Central States Office in Chicago. In August 1969, Elton started flying for the DNR, and had about 11000 hours flying time, of which 6200 hours were in helicopters. He enjoyed giving passengers a thrill whenever possible on a flight and was very skilled at creating a good laugh on occasion.
In September 2002, AARP assisted the Department of Defense in their efforts to identify Korean War Veterans eligible to receive a decoration for participating in combat operations in Korea. Service time was determined to be between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953, with service in Korea or in the surrounding waters for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days. For his assistance, Elton was awarded the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal.
Elton's interests were wide ranging and his homebuilt aircraft, "Pou du ciel/Flying Flea", is now suspended from the ceiling of Sawyer International Airport, Gwinn, MI. He attended EAA at Oshkosh, WI, many times. In addition, Elton and Senora operated the Old Cherry Creek Craft business. He evolved into carving with some great guys, getting more artistic over the years. Elton even did a television ad for Trenary Toast when he and a buddy stopped for coffee one time. The guys were asked to demonstrate which holds up better, a donut or a piece of Trenary Toast. Elton enjoyed eating out and always had a tip on where to eat, even in the most obscure places.
Survivors include his four children, Terry Sue (Tim) Kepler, Connie Lynn (Wallace) Liechty, Bryan Lee (Lisa) Barnum, and Jeffrey Curtis Barnum; and six grandchildren, Jason (Christy Abler) Kepler, Matthew (Bridget Ritzinger) Kepler, Joshua Liechty, Amanda Berryman, and Katelyn and Jack Barnum.
Friends may call at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Wednesday evening, October 11, beginning at 5:00 pm. Funeral services will follow at 7:00 pm, in the funeral home, with Rev. Charles West of Grace United Methodist Church, officiating. Burial will be made in the Evergreen Cemetery in Lansing, MI. This obituary may be viewed and guestbook signed at www.swanson-lunquist.com
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