Mr. Richard “Dick” Laurence Barber, 75, of Rockingham died Friday, February 3, 2012 at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He was born December 6, 1936 in Willimantic, CT and was formerly a resident of Spruce Pine NC. Mr. Barber was preceded in death by Mother; Margaret Tracey Felton and husband Bernie Felton and Father; Laurence Herbert Barber and wife Gladys Barber.
Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial for Mr. Barber will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 8th at St. James Catholic Church in Hamlet. Interment will follow in Richmond Memorial Park with military honors. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 pm at Watson-King Funeral Home in Rockingham.
Left to cherish his memories are his beloved wife of 48 years, Kathleen Ronan Barber; sons, Chris Barber and wife Lisa of Charlotte NC; Patrick Barber and wife Cassie (children: Sullivan, William and Riley) of Rural Hall NC, Michael Barber of Rockingham NC; daughter, Beth Kitchen and husband Charles (children: Will and Kamryn) of Indian Trail NC; brother, William Barber and wife Hazel of Tolland CT; sister, Pam and husband Ron Garner of Deep River CT; nephews, Brent Barber and Doug Garner of CT; and nieces, Kelly Barber and Jen Garner of CT.
He grew up in Mansfield Hollow, CT. He graduated from Windham High School and later from the University of Connecticut where he majored in Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering. He served his country for 6 years in the CT Army National Guard and qualified as an expert marksman in Rifle, Pistol and the 81mm mortar.
He worked in the mining and minerals processing industry for 38 years. He worked with The Feldspar Corporation for 26 years and served on their board of directors. While at Feldspar he served as president and director of the North Carolina Mining Association along with several other boards and organizations including the, NCSU Minerals Research Lab Advisory Board and the NC Geological Survey Advisory Board. He later finished his career at WR Bonsal in Lilesville, NC. After his retirement in the mining industry, he worked as a consultant where he was a well respected and trusted resource in his field.
He was active in the community and enjoyed volunteering his time to help others. While in Spruce Pine, He was an active member at St Luciens Catholic Church and was a member of the Church Council. He served on the Mitchell County Economic Development Commission and a member of the Blue Ridge Hospital System Board of Directors. In Rockingham, He was an active member of St. James Catholic Church and was on the parish council. He was also Vice President of the Richmond County Amateur Radio Club.
When he was not involved in community work, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, target shooting, woodworking, computers and Amateur Radio(W1GFM). He loved demonstrating amateur radio for the local Spruce Pine school children and on one occasion provided them an opportunity to speak with the astronauts aboard the space shuttle earning him “coolest Dad in the school” status. He was also a pilot for close to 40 years and loved to take people up for their first plane ride.
He loved to make people laugh and always had a joke to share. He was a dedicated and loving father and husband. Most important to him was the time he spent with friends and family, especially his five grandchildren . He took every opportunity to teach them many of the skills and lessons he acquired throughout his life. Your stories, love and presence will remain in our hearts forever and we love you.
The family wishes to thank everyone for their love and support during this time. We welcome you to share your memories and comments at: http://www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Richard-Barber1961559560/#/TributeWall
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation to the Richmond County Amateur Radio Club Youth Education Fund (PO Box 1963, Rockingham NC 28380) or at www.richmondcountyarc.org, or to Saint James Catholic Church (PO Box 1208, Hamlet NC 28345).