Class of 1933
Judge Norman R. Barnard
Committee Clerk, Oakland County Board of Supervisors, 1956-1958
Appointed to Oakland County Probate Judgeship, 1963
Elected Chief Probate Judge, 1977-1989
Norman R. Barnard Elementary School, Troy, dedicated in 1979
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2001
Norman R. Barnard was born in a log house to a family of early settlers in Royal Oak. His father, Fred, was a classmate of George Dondero. After Norman's birth the family moved to Troy Township. Because there was no high school in Troy, Norman Barnard had to commute to Royal Oak High School. He graduated from ROHS in 1933.
Mr. Barnard was known for his wealth of information and his love of history. He and his wife purchased 5 acres and the historic house of Johnson Niles, the first settler in Troy. The Barnards were instrumental in the creation of the Troy Historical Society and the maintenance of its museum where their house is now located.
Although a highly educated man and a noted judge, Mr. Bernard often described himself as "just a farmer". He and his children continued to raise sheep at his home in Troy, and he was an active volunteer in the 4-H Clubs for 60 years.
Norman Barnard was Chairman of the Charter Commission that created the city of Troy in 1955 spoiling the efforts of Royal Oak to annex the area. He served as the city's first City Manager, and helped the community consolidate its nine school districts into one. In 1963 Norman Barnard was appointed to the bench of the Oakland County Probate Court, and served for 25 years. The Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court once described Judge Barnard as a true friend of youth. She specifically sited his contributions to the county youth assistance programs in which school districts worked with the court to handle youth neglect and delinquency cases. His humanitarian contributions were appreciated by his community. Norman Barnard was awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award by the city of Troy in 1970, the Silver Beaver Award by the Detroit Area Boy Scout Council in 1971, the Distinguished Service Award by the Michigan Probate Judges in 1975 and an elementary school in Troy was named in his honor in 1979. Judge Barnard passed away in 1998.
Norman Barnard was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 2001.