In Memoriam: Richard Barnhart, 1934-2024
01 February 2024
ACT is deeply saddened to report the founder of Barnhart Crane and Rigging, Richard Barnhart, passed away at his home in Millington, TN at age 90. He lived an extraordinary life. He was married to his bride Nancy for 68 years. They raised three children, built four houses, started a successful company in 1969 and sailed around the world.
Over the course of his life, he also served as a scoutmaster, built and donated several structures for Young Life camps around the country and donated millions of dollars to organizations that helped people. Barnhart was instrumental in starting a Young Life Club in Millington, TN, and has been involved in Methodist churches for 56 years.
Barnhart served in the Navy Seabees for four years. He received a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. The company he started, Barnhart Crane and Rigging Co., currently employs over 1,800 people in over 50 cities. Several local projects that Richard led include the steel erection of the Memphis Pyramid, Mud Island Tram Bridge, Convention Center, The Med and Bellevue Baptist Church. In 2008 he was inducted into the Society of Entrepreneurs.
Barnhart continued to work all his life. After retirement, he made eight trips to the Gulf Coast with his specially modified tractor to help clean up after Hurricane Katrina. He was on his tractor clearing downed trees with his sons a few weeks before he passed. He has always been a hard worker, a creative engineer and a craftsman. He will be greatly missed.
He leaves behind his wife Nancy, children Eric, Alan and Donna, 12 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren and a legacy of service and innovation.