A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for Robert Otto BARNUM


The Daily News, Jacksonville, North Carolina. June 14, 2007 - 3:21PM. MOREHEAD CITY ó Robert Otto Barnum, 83, of Morehead City, passed away on June 14, 2007. His funeral will be on at 11 a.m. Monday, June 18 at Bell Munden Funeral Home at 2112 Arendell St. in Morehead City. Burial will follow in Gethsemane Cemetery in Morehead City.
A resident of Morehead City for more than 54 years, Dr. Barnum enjoyed 50 years of chiropractic practice before his retirement in 2003. A Marine Corps pilot in World War II, he was a reserve during his college years. He obtained his degree at Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa, in 1949, but was delayed from starting his practice when called to active duty in the Korean War shortly after graduation.
During his military service he received the Distinguished Flying Cross as a result of deeds accomplished during aerial flight. He also received the Air Medal with three stars as a result of meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight; the National Defense Service Medal as a member of the Reserve Components ordered to federal active duty; the Korean Service Ribbon with two stars commemorating service during operations in the Korean area; and the United Nations Service Ribbon for participation in Korea in the defense of the Principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Dr. Barnum was discharged in 1953 while stationed at Cherry Point. He decided to stay in North Carolina and establish his chiropractic practice in Morehead City. His first practice was located at 915 Arendell St. and was shared with another young doctor, Norman Lang. Just seven months after opening, the need for a larger office led Dr. Barnum to move to 1512 Arendell St., and Dr. Lang opened his practice in Wilmington.
Dr. Barnum remained at 1512 Arendell until 1963, when he moved to a more modem building at 1002 Arendell St. It was during these years that Dr. Barnumís patients frequently paid for his services with farm produce and seafood. He made house calls on weekends and would often drive down east to visit patients in their homes.
Over the years Dr. Barnum employed recent graduates, giving young chiropractors experience before opening their own practices. Several of his associates have offices in the same state.
In 1984 his son, Robert Lewis Barnum, entered practice with him. In 1990 they decided to buy their own building, No.1 Medical Park. Today his son continues to operate the practice at the Medical Park location.
Dr. Barnum received a number of honors during his career. In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower recognized Dr. Barnum for his contributions in the area of physical fitness. He was active in programs sponsored by the National Chiropractic Association at both the state and local levels. In 1976, Dr. Barnum was appointed by Gov. James E. Holshouser Jr., to serve on the N.C. Radiation Protection Commission. In his spare time, Dr. Barnum was active in civic affairs. In 1957, he received the Distinguished Service Award, given by the Morehead City Jaycees. While serving in the Jaycees, he held the offices of president, vice president and state representative. One of his favorite Jaycee activities was running the canteen at the Teen Club until it closed in 1966.
He enjoyed working with young people of the county and served as director of Morehead City Recreation Commission for many years. He also coached Midget League football from 1955-62, Little League baseball from 1955-59, and was an announcer and team doctor for high school football games from 1965-72.
In retirement Dr. Barnum continued to treat a few select patients, but spent most of his time fishing, hunting and traveling. One of his favorite activities was to participate in the annual fall King Mackerel Tournament to raise funds for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.
He is survived by his former wife and lifelong friend, Bernita Barnum of Morehead City; seven daughters, Roberta Vasgar and husband Tommy of Newport, Shirley Brooks of Annapolis, Md., Jeanne Josephson and husband Ron of Juneau, Alaska, Connie Gongaware of Phoenix, Ariz., Deanna McElmon and husband Albert of Morehead City, Mary Barnum of Belchertown, Mass., and Lauralee Prentice and husband Charlie of Jacksonville; two sons, Howard Otto Barnum and wife Barbara of Greenville, and Robert Lewis Barnum and wife Christine of Newport; 13 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; one brother, Nile Barnum and wife JoAnn of Glasco, Kan.; and one sister, Vesta Evans and husband Robert of Arkdelphia, Ark.
The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, June 18 at Bell Munden Funeral Home.
Condolences may be sent to Robert Lewis Barnum, P. O. 709, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent to Toys for Tots, c/o Mr. David Hill, P. O. Box 856, Beaufort, N.C. 28516. PAID OBITUARY.
Gravestone inscription: Robert O. Barnum / Capt US Marine Corps / World War II Korea / Distinguished Flying Cross / A Dedicated Patriot
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