Roger E. Barber
7-11-1926 ~ 7-14-2011
Roger E. Barber, Sr., was born July 11, 1926, on a wheat farm near South Haven, KS, and he passed away peacefully on a cattle ranch near Walsenburg, July 14, 2011. The third of Grace and Howard Barber’s six sons, he and his family survived a tornado in 1935 that decimated their house and farm. Roger narrowly missed WWII service on Iwo Jima, due to a life-threatening accident that burned him and his dad severely. By the time he was healed enough to regain the use of his arms and hands, the Allies were victorious and his paratrooper training was not in great demand when he served as a soldier in occupied Japan.
Between his military training and his deployment, Roger met Rowena Armstrong at a 4-H dance. They married on the fourth anniversary of V-Day, June 6, 1948.
One aspect of his career that Roger mentioned was that he installed the first set of tubeless tires in the state of Kansas when he worked for B.F. Goodrich of Wellington. He spent most of his career as a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Kansas City, before eventually retiring to Phoenix. He had extended visits to Walsenburg and spent his final years on his son’s ranch near Pryor, where he was available as a gardening consultant and enjoyed annual brandings with the Vezzani clan. His reputation as a kind and honorable gentleman of sterling character persisted to his last breath. Earth was better for his presence and he will be greatly missed.
Roger is survived by Rowena and three of their children: Roger, Jr. (Jeanette) of Wheatland, WY, Elizabeth (Don) Henderson of Buckeye, AZ, and Bob (Shelley) Barber of Walsenburg. Eldest daughter, LaVera (Gerry) Last preceded Roger in death in 2005. Roger and Rowena were blessed with seven grandchildren and additional “greats.” Other surviving relatives are his younger brothers Paul (Dottie) Barber of Nacogdoches, TX, and Warren (Sue) Barber of Ft. Worth, TX.
The memorial service to honor Roger Barber’s life and celebrate his victory in Christ and transfer to Heaven is Saturday, July 23, at 2pm and will be held at the church he became attached to at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that his life be commemorated with gifts to Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center, P.O. Box 536, Walsenburg CO 81089 (tax-deductible).