Oh, the places you will go….. Larry Lee Barber of Berlin, CT, has entered eternity, released from the confusion and disability of Alzheimer’s Disease. Larry was born December 1st, 1939, in Ashland, Kentucky, son of the late Allen Lewis Barber and Helen Finley Barber. He graduated from Ashland High School, class of 1958, and has retained life-long friends from those years along the Ohio River. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963 as a Mechanical Engineer.
As a young husband and father, Larry attended night school to earn his Master’s in Industrial Engineering from IUPUI. His career touched several fields, working for Union Carbide, RCA, Tube Turns, Browning, Federal Pacific Electric and Revere before being tagged for the position of President, of a division of Litton Industries in Mt. Vernon, NY. Helping to make that company sellable, his next job opportunity was as President of Aerospace Technologies, a division of Triumph Group, Inc. in Fort Worth, TX. He retired in 2000 and ventured into goat farming for the next fifteen memorable years. He willingly accepted being called the “old goat!”
Larry’s job related trips and with Texas Farm Bureau afforded opportunities for travel that only accentuated his wanderlust and left friends in many hemispheres.
He retained rental property in the towns in which he had worked and lived and enjoyed road trips back to cut grass all across the Midwest. He loved to “fix” things and was once described as the landlord of his church’s parsonage. A lifelong Methodist until the move to Berlin, church families were considered family through his many job moves. The Berlin Congregational Church is the most recent supportive family. Larry was a Mason, as well as a Kentucky Colonel, and Kentucky basketball has not known a more vocal, loyal or devoted fan; his family’s blood is unavoidably Kentucky BLUE.
Larry thoroughly enjoyed coaching his own boys’ baseball and basketball teams, believing that every boy should play in the games. A favorite memory is the year he coached the second & third-grade basketball team, including son Troy. One little fellow wasn’t particularly athletic and hadn’t scored a basket the entire season. But he was present for every practice, and Larry put him in to play toward the end of the final game. When that little guy shot a basket making the winning point, his team mates, their parents and Larry “raised the roof” of that gym!
Larry was blessed with the love of his wife of nearly 58 years, Susan, his sons Todd (Kim), Troy (Maura), and T.J. (Brooke), and eleven precious grandchildren who called him Peepaw or Peapod: Kayleigh, Sophie, Eli, Jordan, Tyler, Harriet, Addison, Colton, Finley, Clara and Charlotte. Never to be forgotten are his one arm hugs, attempted bunny ears for the nearest person in every picture, ever available square-round toothpicks to chew, and his repeated quips: “When you’re dumb, you suffer!” “Did you learn something?” “Where’s your spirit of adventure?” “Thou shalt not whine.” “It’s the way you hold your mouth!” “Circle the wagons!” Larry’s teasing sense of humor, independence, perseverance, and demand for honesty will be remembered by all who knew him.
Larry was predeceased by his parents, a brother, Alexander, and his grandparents, Alex and Lexie Belle Finley, who greatly contributed to his work ethic and approach to living.
The Barbers are grateful for the many caregivers who assisted with Larry’s home care – including his “priceless” dog Coco Chanel, for Mulberry Garden’s 2018-19 Adult Daycare staff (“the women are attractive and the food good”), and for Patty O’Brian, Dementia Specialist, who has made the journey with them since Larry’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2016. The Barbers are especially thankful for the support of family and friends, and for the exceptional loving care Larry received at LiveWell in Plantsville, CT, the last 2 years of his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Larry’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://act.alz.org/), the Berlin Congregational Church, 878 Worthington Ridge, Berlin, CT 06037, or the charity of your choice –with a smile, please!