Thomas Daniel Barnhardt was born on September 23, 1932 in Gold Hill, North Carolina, the third born of nine children to the late Frankie Carrie House and James aka- “Swift Eagle” Barnhardt. From his very humble beginnings, he developed a friendly, outgoing, outspoken, and comical personality, who also spoke several languages fluently.
He attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. He attended and graduated from Howard University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduating he joined and served in the Military; U.S. Air Force from 1950-1953. After his honorable discharge from the Air Force, he began a career at Westinghouse-as an Electrical Engineer.
He married Rosie Mae Holly on January 13, 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland. He then moved to Los Angeles, California, with his family where he went to work for IBM/TRW.
After 10 years of marriage, he moved to Texas with his children, where he met and fell in love with the love of his life, Velna Mae Derry. They joined union on August 06, 1968, in La Porte, Texas. “Barney” and Velna moved to Dayton, Texas in 1969 to continue to raise their family, while he worked for Eastern Airlines until his retirement.
Preceding him in death are his parents; wife, Velna; brothers, James Andrew (Sonny), Elihue Fredrick, George Roosevelt, and William Ralph.
Left to cherish his memory are his children – Daughters: Kym, Karyn, Kyla, Karleen, Kelna Riggs (Jerry) and nephew, Fred Jones whom he raised as a son; Grandchildren, Bakari Armstrong, Kamaria Reed (Isaiah), Fallynn Cooper (Darnell), Safiya (Sophie) Armstrong, Faryn Barnhardt, Cornell “Kai” Ward and Jerrett Riggs; Great-Grandchildren, Danyelle (Danni), Kaylee, Aviannah (Avi), Carter, Kennedi, Christian, Camden and Logan. Siblings – Brother: Samuel House (Evelyn); Sisters - Mattie Yvonne Washington (Robert), Rose (Rosebud) Russell (Lonnie) and Felicia Arlene Citizen; Sister-in-Law, Rachel, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.