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Columbia Missourian

Jack Barnhouse remembered as an inspiring and compassionate teacher, friend

By Kate Masters
July 12, 2013 | 5:32 p.m. CDT

Jack Barnhouse of Columbia died Friday, July 12, of lung cancer. He was 75.

Mr. Barnhouse was born February 11, 1938, in El Dorado, Ark., and was raised in Little Rock, the state's capital.

At 17, he joined the Army and served in the cavalry in Japan. After his honorable discharge, he worked at a missile tracking station as an engineer, later exchanging that position for a career in the CIA.

Mr. Barnhouse served as a station engineer in many locations for the department, including Cyprus, Puerto Rico, Okinawa and Bangkok.

He left the CIA in 1970 and moved to Columbia to pursue degrees in English literature. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from MU. During his studies, Mr. Barnhouse fell in love with the work of Vardis Fisher, whom he considered a woefully neglected American author.

Mr. Barnhouse taught English literature and composition for more than 30 years at different local institutions, including an eight-year stint at Central Methodist College and a 30-year position at Columbia College.

Mr. Barnhouse strongly believed in the value of education to improve the lives of his students.

His friends and family will deeply miss his honesty, intelligence and compassion.

Mr. Barnhouse is survived by his wife of 39 years, Carla McFarland; a son, Bill Barnhouse, and his wife, Heidi; and a grandson, Noah Chilson.

His daughter, Jacolyn Barnhouse, died earlier.

No services are planned at this time.

Instead of flowers, donations can be made to the Jacolyn Barnhouse Scholarship Fund at Columbia College or to

Condolences can be posted at