Charles Ray Barber passed away May 9. Ray was born July 31, 1927, in Washington, the son of Charles Peek and Mary Elizabeth Allison Barber. He spent his younger years on the farms of his grandparents with many cousins, aunts and uncles. During those years he spent time hunting, fishing, learning about farming and developed a lifelong passion and love for the land and conservation.
He graduated from Washington High School in 1945 and was dual-enrolled his senior year at Purdue University, but interrupted his studies to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1945. After one year in the Navy he returned to Purdue and studied civil engineering. Before completing a degree he returned to Washington to begin working. He married Wanda Frances Fitzgerald on Feb. 25, 1951, and later that year accepted an engineering position working on a pipeline project in New England.
In 1953 Ray and Wanda settled in Ross County, Ohio, where he had accepted a position with the Atomic Energy Plant in Piketon. Later Ray worked for Barrett, Cargo, Withers Consulting Engineers until he returned to finish his career at the Atomic Energy plant, retiring in 1989. During those years Ray was active in many local community organizations, taught Sunday school with Wanda at Trinity UMC, served as a Stephen Minister at Trinity UMC, served four separate terms on the Chillicothe Hospital Board and was chairman when the new Adena Medical Center opened in 1974. He was a past member of the Lions Club and a life member of the American Legion Post 121.
He and Wanda raised five children together until Wanda passed away in 1980. Ray married Betty McCalla Cory on Sept. 11, 1988. They spent their retirement years enjoying friends and family while traveling around the United States, regular visits to the American Legion in Chillicothe and playing cards with Frankfort, Ohio, and Bradenton, Florida, neighbors until Betty passed away in 2005.
Surviving are his children, Karen (Steve) Brown of Kingwood, Texas, Tim Barber of Los Angeles, California, Steve (Becky) Barber of Marietta, Georgia, Kevin (Lissy) Barber of Prescott, Arizona, and Brian (Trish) Barber, Frankfort, Ohio, as well as his stepchildren, John (Jodi) Cory of Frankfort, Ohio, and Colleen (Kevin) Brennan of Washington Court House; grandchildren Jeff (Grace) Brown, Lauren Brown (Mitchell) Loerch, Blake (Elizabeth) Barber, Jay Barber, Joel Barber, Lindsey Barber, Erin Barber (Dan) Lee, Charles Ryan Barber, John (Breanna) Barber, Dan Barber; stepgrandchildren Brian Cory, Casey (Chase) Minor, Cadie Cory, Collin Cory, Reed (Elizabeth) Carey, Adam (Melanie) Carey, Shelly (Urban) Meyer; and several great-grandchildren. Ray is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Mary Elizabeth; one sister, Betty Joan; his wife Wanda; his wife Betty; and his stepdaughter Susan Cory Mather.
A graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at Bethel Cemetery in Washington.
In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be sent to Bethel United Methodist Church in Washington.
Published on May 16, 2017