in loving memory of
Rev. Frederick Thomas Barner, III
August 9, 1936 – August 17, 2023
Saturday, September 16, 4:00 p.m. (3:45 slideshow)
Memorial Service at Park View Mennonite Church.
If unable to attend in person, please join the service live, or later,
by clicking on the video image below.
Please sign the guest book below to indicate that you have viewed the service.
Don’t let that “the third” fool you. It’s far too pretentious and he’d prefer to go by “Tom.”
Tom was passionately committed to his faith, his love for his family and friends, his theology, politics, philosophy, and bowling.
Tom was born in Huntington, PA, but grew up in Germantown, Philadelphia, just a few blocks from his beloved wife Ann of 64 years. Ann had a huge crush on Tom and Tom was a bit slow to catch on. When he did, he sent her a postcard from Centre College (BA in Psychology, class of 1960) in Danville, KY. It said simply, “Will you marry me?” She replied with another postcard that read, “Yes!”
After graduating from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago (MDiv in Theology, class of 1966), Tom was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in 1966. While serving multiple smaller churches throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Tom and Ann opened their home to numerous children. Son Kirk was born in 1963 and daughter Kristen in 1967. The dinner table usually included nieces, neighborhood children, foster children, children from the Fresh Air Fund, and children of long-time friends. Somehow, we all fit around the table. Somehow, there was always ice cream. While serving as a pastor, Tom also labored at a variety of odd jobs to make sure that Ann and all of these kids had food on the table and clothes to wear.
Tom was always a runner (slow but steady), an athlete (daily at the gym), a bowler (two 300 games), avid nonsmoker, maker of grapevine wreathes, master of chess, theologian, debater, husband, Dad, writer, friend.
Tom was the middle child to Frederick and Violet. He is survived by his older sister Ruth Fell of Florida (daughters Becky and Bobbi) and younger brother Sam Barner of New York (wife Pat and daughter Kaitlin).
Tom will forever be missed by Ann, Kirk (Cori), Kristen (David) and grandchildren Levi (wife Morgan and son Ayden), Luke, and Grace. His legacy of fierce love, unwavering faith, and fight for justice remains as the secure and steady thread in the tapestry of all who know and love him. There are far too many to name; his Massanetta Springs Bible Conference group and Park View’s Sunday School Class include some of the people who were most precious in Tom’s heart.
In lieu of flowers, Tom would love nothing more than for you to vote. And to think long and hard about what you want your elected officials to do. What is the best for “the least of these”? Also, enjoy a book. Read to little kids. Talk about race. Celebrate marriage equality. Celebrate equality. “Study hard. Learn things.” If you would like to make a monetary contribution in his name, Tom would invite you to visit Park View Mennonite Refugee Fund.
Tom tried to live up to his favorite benediction he recited at the end of most worship services in which he led: “Go out into the world in peace. Have courage. Hold onto what is good. Return no one evil for evil. Strengthen the fainthearted. Support the weak. Help the suffering, Honor ALL people, Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”