A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname

Notes for Thomas Ward CHENEY

Summary from obituary, The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, December 1, 2004: Thomas W. Cheney, 89, of Rock Island died Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004, at Trinity Medical Center, West Campus, Rock Island. Private burial will be in Chippiannock Cemetery, Rock Island, where military honors will be presented by Moline American Legion Post 246. Mr. Cheney was born December 17, 1914, in Union, Nebraska, the son of G. Ward and Vernie Barnum Cheney. He graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1936 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He married the former Margaret Phillippe, Oct. 15, 1938, in Lincoln, Nebraska. She died February 5, 2004. Mr. Cheney was a former president of Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal life insurance society headquartered in Rock Island. He retired in 1979, after serving as Modern Woodmen's president for 19 1/2 years. In 1941, Tom entered active duty with the United States Air Corps. From August 1941 until the summer of 1942, he was an officer at the primary training school at Cimarron Field in Oklahoma City, Okla. He then was assigned to glider school at Goodland, Kan. During the first six months of 1943, he recruited future college graduates. In July 1943, he attended the Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He joined the 475th Fighter Group in New Guinea in September of 1943, serving as the executive officer. In October 1943, he followed General McArthur to participate in the occupation of the Philippines, serving there until September 1945. During this period, Tom was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He witnessed General McArthur signing the peace treaty at Ei Shima with Japan. He was with the first group sent to Japan at the end of the war. Mr. Cheney returned to the United States in December 1945. During the five years he served his country, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, a Presidential Unit Citation, and four major battle stars.
Mr. Cheney is past president of the National Fraternal Congress of America. His biography has appeared in "Who's Who in America," "Who's Who in Business and Industry," and "Who's Who in Insurance." He has served as director and vice chairman of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. He is past president of the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce and Junior Chamber of Commerce and served as chairman of the Quad City Council of Commerce Presidents. He is a charter member and served on the board of trustees at Franciscan Medical Center and served on the Trinity Health Foundation Board. He is past president of the board of governors of Franciscan Hospital and was a member of the board of governors of the former St. Anthony's Hospital. Mr. Cheney has served on the board of directors of the Rock Island City and County Community Chests, the Rock Island YMCA and Augustana College. He served 12 years on the advisory committee to the College of Commerce and Business Administration of the University of Illinois. Tom served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the First National Bank of the Quad Cities for 13 years. He is also a former member of the board of governors and past president of the Rock Island Arsenal Golf Club. A member of South Park Presbyterian Church of Rock Island, he has served as deacon, trustee and elder, and has chaired several internal committees. He is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Larry Keim, Goldsboro, N.C.; son and daughter-in-law, Thomas C. and Eileen Cheney, Virginia Beach, Va.; grandchildren, Steven Keim, Marcia Keim Ollie, John Keim, Matthew Cheney and Brian Cheney; and great-grandchildren, Isabelle Keim, Rose Cheney, Olivia Keim, Kate Cheney, Nathaniel Cheney and Leah Ollie. In addition to his wife Margaret, he was preceded in death by two sisters.


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