Robert Cushing Barber, 90, of Rockledge, Florida, died on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at Autumn House Assisted Living Facility, close to home.
Bob was born on October 11, 1930 to the late Kenneth W. Barber and Edith S. Barber of Windsor, Connecticut. He graduated from the Loomis-Chaffee School in Windsor, and earned his BA in Economics in 1952 at Amherst College, where he was on the swim team, sang in the Glee Club, played trombone in the marching band, and was a member of Phi Alpha Psi. He went on to Harvard Business School, graduating in 1954. He married Marcia Bourne of Avon, CT, in 1953, and he joined the Navy a year later, serving duty on a destroyer and a submarine tender. He resigned as 2nd Lieutenant in 1957.
Bob always had a strong talent for working with numbers and put those skills to good use as Manager of Finance for 11 years at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks, CT. Bob and Marcia settled in West Granby, Connecticut with their three children, Ken, Robyn, and Jeff. Along with renovating the 1840's family home, Bob was active in the local PTA, and served as chairman of the school board and as Granby town treasurer.
Bob accepted a position as Business Manager at the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, in 1969, where he stayed until his retirement in 1990. While in Wallingford, he served as a member and president of the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials of Prep Schools, and was active in Rotary. While at Choate, Bob met his second wife, Lynne England, and they married in 1982. With this marriage, he gained two step-daughters, Elizabeth and Kat England. Upon his retirement from Choate in 1990, Bob and Lynne moved to Florida.
In his retirement, Bob became a member of the Cocoa Rotary Club, and sang in the Cocoa Senior Center chorus. He made treasured friendships through joining a gourmet club with Lynne, and their home on the Indian River was frequently filled with friends and family visiting from afar. Bob, Lynne, and family and friends also enjoyed many good times at their seasonal cottage on Lake Hayward in Colchester, CT.
Bob enjoyed a good puzzle, whether it be a challenging math problem or a crossword or jigsaw puzzle. He was a skilled carpenter, and passed that knowledge on to his two sons. He loved to sing, whether in a barbershop quartet, a church choir, or during family road trips in the car. He enjoyed listening to music as well, and spent many years collecting and recording a compilation of favorite songs to play on his iPod. Bob's love of birding dated back to childhood, and he could proficiently whistle many a birdcall. In his earlier years, he liked to hike, swim, canoe, play tennis, and ski, and he learned to sail at a family summer home in Maine. He loved to laugh, and he was loving, generous, and kind.
Bob is survived by two sons, Kenneth W. Barber (Merrick Popham) of Bronx, NY, and Jeffrey S. Barber of Avon, CT, one daughter, Robyn C. Miller (Jeffrey Miller) of Rockledge, FL, and two step-daughters, Kathleen (Kat) L. England (David Blanchfield) of Williamsburg, VA and Elizabeth S. England of Ventura, CA; he leaves two grandsons, Julian Popham and Graham B. Miller, three step-grandsons Jerimiah J. Miller, Brian G. Miller, and Corrigan E. Blanchfield, one step-granddaughter Maryellen Russell, one granddaughter Maggie B. England, and eight great-grandchildren.
Bob was pre-deceased by his first wife Marcia Bourne, his second wife, Lynne Barber, his brother, Donald Barber, his sister, Elizabeth Dougherty, and his stepdaughter, Kelley England.
A family celebration of Bob's life and a private burial will take place in Connecticut at a later date. The family invites you to share condolences and memories by visiting www.afcfcare.com.
Donations in Bob's memory can be made to The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203, (800) 628-6860