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Philip Barnhard

January 10, 1930 ~ January 25, 2019 (age 89)

Philp Barnhard, IV of Mount Carmel IL passed away peacefully in his home on January 25, 2019.  Philip was born to Albert A. Barnhard and Mabel (Grant) Barnhard in Mt. Carmel IL on January 10, 1930.

Philip is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth (David Katz) Barnhard of Dobbs Ferry NY and Patricia (James) McLaughlin of Cedar Falls Texas as well as his grandchildren Jonathan (Samantha Simpson-Katz) Katz, Jessica Katz, and Mary Michelle Barnhard.

Predeceasing him were his sons, Michael and Albert (Abe) Barnhard and granddaughter Amber Barnhard, as well as wives Helena Janice (Westergaard) Cerra, Mary Louise Barnhard, Margaret (Peggy) Barnhard, and Laurel “Kaye” Turpin.

In addition to his immediate family, Phil is survived by his step-children and step-grandchildren, whom he adored, the Directors and many retirees and employees of Mt. Carmel Public Utility Co., to whom he affectionately referred to as “his people,” as well as the caregivers (“Team Barnhard”) who faithfully and lovingly attended him during his later years in life.

Philip attended Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 1947 before earning his B.A. in Chemistry from Harvard College in 1951.  He joined the Navy following his graduation from Harvard and was a Naval Officer assigned to the USS Ingersoll from June, 1951 to 1953, leaving active naval duty as an Engineering Officer.  He served in the US Naval Reserves for a number of years following his active duty and was so proud to have served his country with the US Navy as a Korean War veteran.

Following his active duty in the Navy, Philip returned to his academic pursuits and earned a M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Delaware in 1959. 

Philip joined the Explosives Department of EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. Inc. as a chemist at the Repauno Works in Gibbstown NJ; initially in polymer intermediates and heavy chemicals and later as a research chemist in commercial and military explosives.  In 1968, he started a three-year stint in the Control Division, working at business and financial analysis and on computer methods and systems.

In 1972, Philip returned to Mt. Carmel and joined Mt. Carmel Public Utility Co. as Vice-President and Treasurer.  He soon found his love for chemistry and explosives drawing him and he left the utility in 1973 to join Trojan Powder as a Technical Director  in the US Powder Division of Commercial Solvents Corporation.  His duties included relocation of research facilities from Allentown, PA to Spanish Fork, UT, which sparked his love of the West.  His work at Trojan Powder also included working with US EPA to develop water pollution standards for nitrostarch operations and the explosives industry. 

Philip left Trojan Powder in 1981 and joined Apache Powder Company of Benson AZ as Technical Director of explosives and nitric acid production.   He was Co-inventor on two registered patents:  U.S. Patent No. 4,058,420 issued November 15. 1977, “Aqueous Slurry Explosives with Colloidaly Hydrous Metal Oxide”, and U.S. Patent No. 4,394,199 issued July 19, 1983, “Explosive Emulsion Composition”.  If you were around Phil very much at all, you picked up quickly that this was a very exciting time in his life and his interest in explosives never waned, as he peppered many conversations with anecdotes and stories from his days in the explosive industry.  He was often quoted as saying that “a successful explosive expert was one that had all 10 fingers.”

In 1986, Philip returned to Mt. Carmel Public Utility as President.  In 1989, he assumed the position of Chairman and CEO, positions he held until his retirement in 2015, at which time he was named Chairman Emeritus. 

In 1991, Philip founded B&H Producing, Inc. and began to explore the oil and gas exploration and production business in Wabash County and the surrounding area. 

Philip served his industry and community in many ways, including as a Past Exalted Ruler BPOE Lodge #715, Wabash Regional Planning Commission Board member, Mt. Carmel Area Industrial Development Committee Board member, Southeastern Illinois Alliance, Missouri Electric Works Superfund Site Committee, Board of Directors of Edison Electric Institute and Board of Directors of American Gas Association.  He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, Eagles, Mt. Carmel Lion’s Club and was a 32nd Degree Mason. He would refer to Mt. Carmel as being situated in the “middle of everywhere” and list outs its proximity to Evansville, St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, and Chicago.

Philip had a special love of music and weekends he would often attend either the St. Louis Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra or any of the many musical or theatrical events at Wabash Valley College.  He also was a voracious reader, fueling his mind with new and challenging ideas.  He was a student of history and loved to share detailed stories of his family and experiences. Philip also enjoyed exercising his wit and enjoyed replying to questions with one-liners such as “How are you feeling?” – “With my fingers, of course!”

He had a strong sense of adventure and would find many ways to explore, including obtaining his pilot’s license. He loved good food, good wine, coffee, and hot sauce and he often shared his passion for these things with family and friends.

Services for Philip Barnhard, IV will be held Monday, January 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM in the Chapel of Short Cunningham Funeral Home, 527 N Mulberry St.  in Mt. Carmel IL.  Visitation will be from 1:00 until the service with interment immediately following the service at Highland Memorial Cemetery in Mt. Carmel.

Memorials in Phil’s memory can be made to the Mt. Carmel Public Library, Wabash Valley College Arts Council or Wabash General Hospital Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com         

Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve Philip’s family.


Donations may be made to:

Wabash General Hospital Foundation
1418 College Drive, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Tel: 1-618-262-8621

Mt. Carmel Public Library
727 North Mulberry Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Tel: 1-618-263-3531

WVC Arts Council
2200 College Drive, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Tel: 1-618-262-8641


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