Obituaries » James D. Barber
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October 31, 2020 -
JAMES (“Jay”) DONALD BARBER, 84 years old October 31, 1936 – December 12, 2020
James Donald, known as “JD” (by his parents) and then as “Jay”, his senior year of high school and hitherto afterwards to all who knew him, was born in Stafford, Kansas on October 31, 1936. His parents, James (“Jim”) Alanson Barber and Sadie (“Sid”) Ruth Barber (nee Dale), were working in a furniture dealership and as a housewife respectively at the time. Family lore states that he and his future wife, Judith (“Judy”) Crawford met in Sunday School at the Stafford Methodist Church, but didn’t stay in touch as their families relocated. While attending St. John High School, Jay’s family lived across the street from the sch9ol and his children enjoyed his stories about how he woke up to the school bell and ran through the girls’ locker room to get to class. Jay spent his high school years busy participating in clubs (Kays, Jay, K-Cabinet, Glee, Mixed Chorus and playing sports (basketball, football, track and tennis) and then later as a a father, continued his involvement in high school sports by attending every athletic event of his children that he could. When Jay was ready to leave for college he left a “baby” brother, John Henry Barber at home with his parents who were working as Funeral Directors at the time. While in college majoring in Engineering, Jay found the chapter of Delta Upsilon at Kansas State University, began his military career with the college’s ROTC Program and was reunited with his future wife, Judy, after picking her picture out of a yearbook while looking for beautiful girls to date their sophomore years. He didn’t like what he saw in the pictures for those with last names that began with “A” or “B”, but he saw her in the “C’s”. Their first date was to attend a performance, but she cancelled because she had forgotten about a previous engagement. Later in January of 1956 was their first date when they went to the movie theater to watch “A Bridge Over the River Kwai. They married August 23, 1958 when Judy graduated leaving Jay with one more semester to go before graduating in 1959. Jay and Judy moved to their first home in Manhattan, Kansas. They moved around with the army as Jay served first as a lieutenant and then as a captain in the army, spending time in Georgia and California, before landing a job with Goodyear and settling in Akron, OH. After losing a baby, they decided to adopt a son whom they named William (“Bill”) Chappell Barber and two years later adopted a daughter they name Kathryn (“Katy”), both named after beloved members of Judy’s family. Then, in two years succession, Judy then gave birth to their daughter Megan and son James Edward (“Ed”), after both Judy and Jay’s father. While raising their children, Jay moved his family from Akron, OH to Lewiston, NY, to Baton Rouge, LA, to Houston, TX to Cuyahoga Falls, OH and then to Hillsborough, NJ where Jay changed job to work a Mobil Oil Company in 1997. He lived his oft-quoted and fully-lived motto of “Work Hard. “Play Hard.” by enjoying sailing, attending his children’s athletic events, trips to New York City, feeding backyard wildlife, hiking the Appalachian Mountains, going to the New Jersey shore, spending vacation with extended family in Kansas, etc. While keeping busy with all these other things, Jay was very proud of his involvement as a School Board member for many years. To this day, his name is part of the Hillsborough High School building in which all four of his children attended. Once retired from Mobil Oil as a Mechanical Engineer Executive in the chemical field in 1994, after 17 years in NJ, Jay and Judy moved to Farmington Hills, MI where Jay served as a deacon in their church and work fulltime for Giffels Engineering. When ye finally decided to stop “working hard”, he played “he played hard” by buying a waterfront condo in Clearwater, FL on the Gulf of Mexico. During their four “glorious” years there, they took long walks on the beach together every day, experimented with new cooking techniques, sailed, golfed and watched sea turtles hatch in the sand and crawl toward the water. Their oceanside home was also a place of many fond memories for their children and grandchildren. Then, like the “circle of life” Jay and Judy found themselves moving back to NJ to live near their daughter Megan and her family. Jay and Judy loved each other so much that they were inseparable until Judy preceded him in death in November 2019. He missed her greatly in this past year alone and was looking forward to seeing her again in heaven. He is survived by Bill and Tracey (Sheppard) Barber, Joshua Barber, Katy Barber (BJ Ludwig), Holly Ludwig, Jalmer Ludwig, Megan (Barber) and Patrick Carmody, Emma Carmody, Nathan Carmody, Ed and Marie (Burfield) Barber, Elisa Barber and Caitlin Barber along with his brother John (Aagje) Barber. Jay was beloved by all and will be greatly missed.
A graveside service will be held at Fairview Park Cemetery in St. John, KS on December 18, 2020 at 12:00 noon. In lieu of flowers, please be a part of dad’s legacy of love and giving by making donations to Samaritan Hospice. You can go to their website: www.samaritannj.org. or send a donation to their mailing address: Samaritan Hospice, 3906 Church Rd., Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054