Obituary: Thomas Buchanan Barnett

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thomas Buchanan Barnett, 90, retired professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, died Saturday, May 1, 2010, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Born May 27, 1919, in Lewisburg, Tom was the son of William L. and Erma Halbert Barnett. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and attended UT medical school in Memphis. After a hiatus of several years, he completed his medical degree at the University of Rochester in New York.

After an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and residency at the University of Rochester, in 1952 Tom moved his wife Anne and two sons to Chapel Hill, N.C. where he joined the UNC Department of Medicine. An internist by training, he evolved into a pulmonary specialist, eventually chairing the Pulmonary Division at UNC Medical School, a position he held until 1975. He served as a clinical faculty member and Bonner Distinguished Professor of Pulmonary Medicine until 1990. He was also instrumental in the development of the Hunter-Barnett Learning Resources Center for the Pulmonary Division at UNC Medical School.

Tom was an avid environmentalist, whose efforts were largely responsible for the creation of a conservation easement along Morgan Creek. He enjoyed bird watching and nature photography. He and Anne traveled all over the United States and Europe, spending several years in Copenhagen, Denmark, where they forged many professional and personal friendships.

He was predeceased by his wife Anne and is survived by his sons, William Barnett and Richard Barnett; his daughter Susan Barnett Norton and her husband Kit; and two grandsons, Kyle and Sam Norton.

Funeral services will be held at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Ga. at a later date. Memorials may be made to the North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.