Barth Known as ‘Pioneer’ in RV Graphic Design

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August 8, 2013 by   2 Comments

Julius Barth

Julius Oskar Barth, who founded graphic design firm Julius Barth & Associates Inc. and established long-standing ties with Indiana’s RV industry, died  unexpectedly in his home July 31. Barth, a 34-year resident of Middlebury, was 79.

A German native, Barth moved to Indiana in 1979, and oversaw the agency with his wife, Julienne, until it was sold to Burlington Graphic Systems Inc., Racine, Wis., in 2009. His firm served many of the largest and most successful RV companies in the community, pioneering many new concepts in exterior graphics and design for RVs, boats and other outdoor leisure products. Three of his sons and both of his daughters worked alongside him at different times in a business that gained a reputation as a leading graphic design firm in the RV industry.

He was born July 6, 1934, in the Sudetanland region of Germany to Julius and Irma (Görg) Barth. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Julienne (Frank) Barth, and their children Connie (Sidney) Dew of Middlebury, Rudiger (Katherine) Barth of Long Beach, Thomas (Melissa) Barth of Middlebury, Matthew (Michelle) Krueger of Mansfield, Mo., Bruce Krueger of Middlebury, Christopher (Frances) Barth of Goshen and Julienne Martha Barth of Santa Fe, N.M.

He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Stephanie (John) King, Jennifer Welcher, Thomas and Hunter Barth, Hannah Barth, Zoë and Evelyn Barth, and Matthew David, Justine, Lily and Gunther Krueger. Also surviving are his sisters, Irma Peters of Löchnitz, Germany, and Christl (Manfred) Schmidt of Fürstenwald, Germany, and 40 other cherished relatives in Germany. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Martha.

Visitation hours will be at Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday evenings, Aug. 8 and 9. A funeral service with Holy Eucharist will be observed Saturday, Aug. 10, at 11 a.m. at St. John of the Cross Episcopal Church, Bristol, where Julius served on the vestry for a number of years. Burial will be in St. John of the Cross Cemetery.

Flowers are welcome or donations to the Boys & Girls Club of Middlebury in lieu of flowers would also be appreciated. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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2 Responses to “Barth Known as ‘Pioneer’ in RV Graphic Design”

  1. Christopher Barth on August 9th, 2013 1:55 pm

    Thank you for this acknowledgement of my father’s work in the RV industry and his passing. He was always proudest of the work he did here and the relationships he made in his over 30 years of work. He truly loved the entrepreneurial spirit that lives and thrives in Elkhart County. His mind was frequently on “the industry,” especially the people who work in it, even after retirement and we spoke on it often. On his last full day, he made a delivery to a Forest River plant with some “schtickers” that were needed and I know it made him happy to be out in RV land once again…

  2. Connie Barth Dew on August 11th, 2013 9:48 am

    Thank you for sharing my dad’s story. I feel a special connection with the Elkhart Co. RV history stretching back to the very first “schticker” made for a big sales call.
    I personally hand cut the first Jayco “bird” on our dining room table back in Illinois.
    (Up until that time, all graphics were painted). And so started a whole new industry. Having a degree in design and art, I helped him design and create many graphics, logos and other designs. We always worked well together and encouraged me to do more. Being a professional designer my whole career, I always shied away from sales. But in the last few years, Dad’s flair for sales has finally come out in me. So, when I see one of his designs “driving” around, I can only smile and know the ledgend goes on.