Richard Hunter Barnhardt

September 15, 2019

Richard (Dick) Hunter Barnhardt, 84, died September 15, 2019 at the Stewart Health Center at The Cypress of Charlotte after a prolonged period of decline in general health.

Dick was born September 27, 1934 in Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte.  He was the youngest of four children of Tom and Ernestine Barnhardt.  Dick grew up in the Elizabeth neighborhood attending Elizabeth Elementary School, Piedmont Junior High School and Central High School.  He attended Georgia Tech graduating in 1956 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.  Dick married Claire Flintom Barnhardt in 1956 after college graduation in one of the first weddings in the chapel of Covenant Presbyterian Church.  He and Claire lived in Twenty-Nine Palms, California for a few years while Dick served in the United States Marine Corps and where his first two children were born.  Afterwards, they lived briefly in Waynesboro, Virginia before settling in Rocky Mount, North Carolina where they made their home for more than 40 years.  Dick and Claire relocated to The Cypress in Charlotte in 2008 where they have made their home since.

 Dick went to work for his father-in-law, William Doak Flintom, at Thomas & Howard Company, a wholesale food distribution company, where he worked with his brothers-in-law, Jack Stewman and Pete deWitt.  He stayed with the company for more than 30 years until shortly after it was sold in 1986.  Afterwards, he remained involved with the Anheuser Busch distributorship in Hickory, North Carolina for another twenty-five or so years which remained in family hands until it was sold in 2016.  He served in various capacities for these companies including president of Thomas & Howard Company of Rocky Mount and chairman of the board of the distributorship.

Dick was active in his church and community.  He showed up, participated, led and supported organizations, efforts and causes of many kinds.  Among other things, he served as a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, served on the board of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, was a member of the founding board of Rocky Mount Academy and was a past head of the United Way campaign in Rocky Mount and the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from North Carolina Wesleyan College for his many contributions to the school.  He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Peoples Bank and its successors, Centura Bank and RBC Centura Bank for almost 30 years.  He and Claire are members of Covenant Presbyterian Church, the church he grew up in and where his father was a founding elder.

 Dick was an avid golfer.  He took up golf with enthusiasm after college and played at every opportunity.  Dick loved the game and its traditions and the camaraderie with his golfing partners.  He played golf throughout the United States and abroad on six different continents.  Many have played better but few have loved the game more.  Dick was member of Benvenue Country Club in Rocky Mount, where he was a past club president, the Country Club of North Carolina, the Bald Head Island Club and Haig Point Club.

 Dick was kind and generous.  He was known for his impish wit and dry sense of humor.  He was a true Southern gentleman who was beloved and will be missed by his family and large circle of friends in Rocky Mount, Charlotte and beyond.  The family is appreciative of the care provided by his physicians, Martin Cutrone, K.D. Weeks, George Hart and Johnny Kirkland and their staffs, the staff at the Stewart Health Center at The Cypress and Barbara Potts for her positive presence and steadfast support.

Dick is survived by Claire Flintom Barnhardt, his wife of more than 63 years, his five children and their spouses, Doak & Patty Barnhardt of Charlotte, Rick & Neely Barnhardt of Richmond, Virginia, Boyd & Sally Barnhardt of Dallas, Texas and Lenoir, North Carolina, Claire & John Herring of Charlotte and David & Teresa Barnhardt of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  Dick is also survived by his older brother, Tom Barnhardt and his wife, Pam, his brother-in-law, James “Slick” Evans and his wife, Sheila, and his sisters-in-law, Ann Stewman and her husband, Jack, and Frannie deWitt Browne, and her husband, Herb.  He was predeceased by his parents, his sisters, Betty Jubb and Alice Evans, his sister-in-law, Margaret Barnhardt, and his brothers-in law, Jim Jubb and Pete deWitt.

 A service to celebrate the life of Richard Hunter Barnhardt will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, September 20, 2019 in the sanctuary of Covenant Presbyterian Church.  A reception will follow in the fellowship hall at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28204 or to Crisis Assistance Ministries, 500 A. Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28206

 Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at




Share your memories & condolences


  • Michelle Doggett

    To the Barnhardt family,
    I truly loved Mr. Barnhardt and his Southern Gentleman demeanor. I will miss giving him hugs!
    He was a fine man.
    Michelle Doggett

  • hal carnes

    Our prayers are with the Barnhardt Family.

  • Fred Adams

    I met Dick Barnhart in 1991, he picked me up at Adams Wholesale Company and drove off and showed me family property which was Thomas and Howard Cash and Carry.
    We ended up buying the property from him and opened up The 1st Fred’s Food Club in 1992. We had a reunion a few years later, when I invited him back for a tour,
    He was a very pleasant man and fair man to deal with.
    We pray that God will give you the Peace and Comfort needed at this time,
    Sincerely, Fred Adams

  • Steve Nalley

    I'm not sure where to start. We have lost a great one. There are many influences that shape one's life - your parents, teachers, friends and parents of friends to name a few. Without a doubt the Barnhardts had a profound influence on me growing up and I have been forever grateful for the time I was able to spend with them. Mr. Barnhardt was a role model like no other. Very wise with such a great sense of humor. There always seemed to be a lesson to be learned from his take on things. I have so many fond memories - trips to the beach with the family, playing golf, basketball games in the backyard the list goes on. One of the things that sticks with me is that we never knocked on the door when we went to their house. We just walked right in like we were part of the family. I've never known a more gracious family or experienced anything like it since. There were a number of times that I would go over the house when they lived next door after eating dinner at home and Mr. Barnhardt would insist that I join them at their table for dinner. I could somehow never say no. One night they were having squash casserole and I said that I didn't like squash. Mr. B. said "that's not squash, it's golden gourd". So I tried it and lo and behold, I liked it. From that day on he always asked me about golden gourd. To this day, I can't eat squash without thinking about those times.
    My heart goes out to family. Our thoughts are with you. I know you will miss him very much. Love to all, Steve