Jim Barnard, Ionex 1946-2022

We regret to mention the passing of Jim Barnard, a long time heat treater who was the President & Founder of furnace builder Ionex in Michigan, USA. Ionex was one of just 2 or 3 North American furnace builders who ever offered Ion (Plasma) Nitriders. An example of one of his units can be found in this photo which was taken at Thermal Modification Technologies in Oregon, USA.

“Lewis James “JIM” Barnard was born Nov. 22, 1946 in Petoskey MI to Lewis J. Barnard and Lois V. Healey Berger, growing up in East Jordan, Saginaw and Lansing, graduating from Eastern High School in Lansing and taking classes at Lansing Community College and Michigan State. Graduated from MI Tech with BS in Metallurgy and U of M with a MS in Materials Engineering.

Jim spent his life nurturing, not only his personal family, but many others as well. His church work and support of youth activities was exemplary. Many have been blessed by his devotion and generosity, their lives are better for having known him. Active at Feast of Victory Lutheran Church in Acme over 40 years and with the Masons and Shriners in Bellaire bringing Rainbow Girls and DeMolay Boys to the Bellaire Lodge.

Jim had a passion to raise his family “up north”. After working in metallurgical engineering many years, he built IONEX in Bellaire with over 30 employees at its peak that serviced the heat treat industry. The past few years he’s offered his Professional Engineering services to local small builders through Barnard Engineering.

He had a love of travel, boating, fishing & the outdoors. He took his family on many extended cross country road trips to see relatives and
National Parks. Most recently, he loved sitting quietly on his property with his labradoodle puppy, Jazz, watching the wildlife early each morning. He was a visionary, an inventor, a designer and builder of absolutely everything; a true “Do It Yourselfer”. Despite many trials, Jim loved life and focused his energy on things that benefitted the community and people he held dear.

In March of 1969, Jim married the blonde love of his life, Jill Shirley in Albuquerque, NM and she survives. Also surviving are Jennifer Barnard (David Stanko) and their daughter Abby, Dayton, OH; June Barnard, San Francisco and T. Josiah Barnard (Sylvia Roberts) and their son Brock, Fort Worth, TX. Sister, Martha (Glen) Fishel, Burlington, WA., sister-in-law, Susan Barnard and niece Karlee (Brett Brinkley) and family, Charlevoix. Preceding Jim were his parents, son, Lewis James Barnard III, brother, Michael L Barnard, nephew M. Kelsey Barnard and special cousin C. Lee Thomas.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Jim’s name to shrinershospitalsforchildren.org

A Funeral Service will take place Saturday, Jan. 8 at 12:00 noon at the Feast of Victory Lutheran Church, 4400 Mt. Hope Rd., Acme, MI 49610, with Visitation taking place from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. Visitation will also take place Friday, Jan. 7, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a Masonic Service taking place at 6:00 p.m. at the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. The family requests that masks be worn at all services. 

Arrangements are in the care of the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Sign his online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com

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