John Thomas Barham of Bridgehampton died on June 22. He was 89.
A native of Virginia, born March 2, 1924, Mr. Barham had roots that ran deep in Virginia history. He could trace his family to Jamestown as well as to the Mayflower. He studied at Randolph Macon Men’s College, Parsons School of Design, Academy Juliens in Paris and the American Academy in Rome. During World War II, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, flying B-17 and B-24 aircraft.
Mr. Barham’s passion was gardening, starting at age 8 and continuing until he died. According to his survivors, his gardening enthusiasm was inspired by his cousin, Roland Totten, who taught botany at the University of North Carolina and patiently explained to him the details of the plants indigenous to Virginia and North Carolina.
Mr. Barham lived in cities around the world and had homes in Paris, Rome, New York, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and Lima that all were chosen with an eye to the garden. His garden in Bridgehampton was photographed numerous times.
His survivors said he loved his life in the Hamptons. He had an active social life on the East End and was dedicated to his home and garden.
Mr. Barham shared his life for 47 years with Richard B. Auer, who predeceased him. Mr. Barham is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the O’Connell Funeral Home in Southampton.