Friday, September 2, 2016
1:00 PM EDT
425 S Nursery Street
Lawton, MI 49065
Followed by a reception in the church hall.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Stanley Barber lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. With an unwavering faith as his constant companion, he was never concerned about the things of this world, rather, his focus was always on being the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. Second only to his faith, Stanley was deeply devoted to his family, and he was filled with unspeakable joy to witness his family tree blossom to include the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren he adored. Life was not without times of trial for him, but he faced whatever came his way with strength and courage that were truly inspiring. Deeply loved, Stanley will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the Roaring Twenties. Innovation brought us things like radios and refrigerators while legends Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb made baseball America’s favorite pastime. Amidst this exciting time was a time of excitement in the lives of Wallace and Margaret (Nicholson) Barber as they were pleased to announce the birth of the son they named Stanley R. on October 31, 1921, in Lincoln, Michigan. He was one of ten children to be raised in the family home in the Alpena area, and things were anything but easy as their family was very poor. Stanley learned the value of hard work while growing up as he cut wood and hauled it out by the horses during the winter. There was also the time he was chased by a bear while fishing. Of course the Barber boys were known to get into some mischief at times as well.
Life was forever changed for Stanley when he met the young woman of his dreams while at a dance. Her name was Rose Miks. Sparks flew right from the start, and after dating for a time the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together the sweethearts were married on June 7, 1941, in Lincoln. The couple started their family right away and moved to the Detroit area where Stanley found a job in tool and die. Stan, with a 7th grade education became a skilled tool & die machinist. When Rose was in the hospital with their second son Bob, Stan showed up in suit much to Rose’s surprise. He had just been promoted to foreman, which was a real feat for a man about 21 years old. Stan was told his job was of high national importance and he thought since he was a foreman he would not be drafted. WRONG, now with 3 kids (David, Bob & Dale) he was off to the Navy. Stan served for one year and one day. He was almost to Japan when the war ended, although his ship did steam into a Japanese port. The oldest 3 kids were very little and did not remember Stan after he got home. David was out in the road and his Dad told him to come in, David said “I don’t need to listen to you”. Stan applied the Board of Education to the Seat of Knowledge and David quickly learned who is father was.
It was also during this time that Stanley accepted the Lord as his Savior, and his life was forever changed. His faith became a beacon in his own life, and it also greatly affected the life of his family for generations to come.
With his military duties fulfilled, Stanley returned to his family and moved them back to the Lincoln area where he pursued his love for farming. After a short time trying to farm at one location and finding the soil too poor to succeed Stan and Rose move their family to another farm. Moving from one farm to the other was done the old fashioned way. Stan and boys drove the cattle and other livestock down the road to the new farm (no permit needed back then). The family dog, Lady had just given birth to a litter of pups. The young pups were put in blankets in the back seat of the car; ever so often Lady would leave her job of herding and go check on her pups. In the Lincoln area Stan farmed with a team of horses, Dan & Dolly. Around 1948 he bought his first Ford tractor.
Farming was, and is, a very difficult business. The family farm was on the way out and Stan could not support his growing family on income from the farm alone so, around 1951 he went to the Detroit area looking for work. Being a highly skilled tool & die machinist he had no problem in finding a job. He would leave Lincoln on Sunday night and return late Friday night until he found a place to bring his family. The kids looked forward to Dad coming home on the weekend as he always brought toys. He would go to an auction each week and buy used toys. Real treat for the kids. With a growing family his shop income did not quite make it; so, he took up selling on the side. He sold home improvements and at one time sold pots & pans, by putting on a dinner for the customers. Stan made a lot more money selling then working in the shop. So, in time he went into selling full time.
Stan never lost the desire to farm. So, in March of 1955 he moved his family to a 127 acre farm outside of Paw Paw. Again, hard to feed a growing family on farm income; so, in the winter months he worked in shops in Kalamazoo and back to the farm from planting season through harvest. Stan also sold used appliances at night and on Saturdays. He paid $10 for our first used TV, black & white with rabbit ears.
At first they sold their goods from a roadside stand and took them to the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph farmers markets. Stan later bought an old school bus and ripped the seats out so there was more room to carry all the fruit to the market. Throughout this all, he worked hand in hand with Rose, as he went to work while she and the kids worked the farm during the day. As the parents of 11 children, Stanley and Rose had many additional hands to help! He did anything and everything in sales to provide for the family, but he always closed his businesses on Sunday for church and family time. Over the years he also had a gas station, a car wash, and a coin laundromat which he started because Rose said the laundromat in town was dirty. Of course Stanley was known for keeping his machines clean and well maintained. It was a family affair, too, as the kids cleaned while he maintained the machines. In fact, Stanley also built the building from pouring the concrete to putting in the electrical work. Finally, he established Barber and Barber Real Estate with his son Bob in the early 70s. The business did very well, and Stan found fulfillment in the Real Estate field. Stanley enjoyed helping people find homes while also changing their lives. He always considered this work to be spiritual work as well.
Throughout his life Stan was a bustle of activity. He was very intelligent and taught himself how to fix nearly anything - probably better than it was in the first place! Stan & Rose and children moved to an old farmhouse on 40 acres in Almena, which he completely remodeled.
Stan loved nature spending many hours in the woods hunting and fishing. Stan’s boys, several sons-in-law & grandsons enjoyed the yearly time at “deer camp”. Stan enjoyed being the camp cook, playing cards and just talking with the guys. Even after Stan was no longer able to hunt he still would go out for opening day to make dinner for his boys and enjoy a game of cards. Stan was a master scrabble player as he knew countless words that others didn’t.
Together he and Rose welcomed 11 children David, Bob, Dale, Elaine, Paul, Tim, Cynthia, Steve, Sharon, Rosanne, and Phil into their hearts and home. Stan just loved his big family and always said, “God just kept sending us kids and we loved everyone.” As parents he and Rose were very involved with their children, yet they didn’t smother them and allowed them to be their own people. A man of faith, Stan memorized the majority of the Bible, and he and Rose were prayer warriors who prayed for their entire family by name each and every morning. With a family that grew to include over 150 descendants, this was quite a job!
After Rose died in 2008, Stan reconnecting with an old friend, Anna Hofstra, and they married seven years ago. They moved into her home on Lake Brownwood in Paw Paw. They enjoyed taking walks together, sunset pontoon rides and playing cards or board games.
With deep commitment to his faith, his family, and sales, Stanley Barber lived fully in the moments he was given. He was a very humble man who lived to love and serve others; whether his family, those within his community, or people within a missionary setting. Content in whatever life brought, Stan was a blessing to everyone he met. He will never be forgotten.
Stanley R. Barber, age 94 of Paw Paw was received into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on August 28, 2016, after a brief stay at Rose Arbor Hospice. Stan was preceded in death by his beautiful bride of 66 years Rose (Miks), daughter Elaine Taylor, son David Barber, son-in-law’s James Ray and Greg Straka Sr., grandsons James Edward Ray and Paul Matthew Taylor and several grandchildren who were taken to the arms of their savior before they were held in their mothers arms. He is survived by his children and children in-law Marilyn (David) Barber, Robert (Sandy) Barber, Dale (Jim) (Daryl) Ray-Snyder, Wayne (Elaine) and Linda Taylor, Paul (Marilyn) Barber, Cynthia (Greg) Straka, Steve (Sue) Barber, Sharon (Joe) George, Rosanne (Steve) Adams, Philip (Angie) Barber, 34 grandchildren, 67 great-grandchildren, 13 great great grandchildren, his loving wife of 7 years Anna (Hofstra) Barber and Anne’s daughters Laurie, Bonnie, Chris and preceded in death by Anne’s daughter Elizabeth.
Visit with family and friends on Thursday (Sept. 1) from 5-8 PM at the Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Homes, 60900 M-40 Hwy; Paw Paw (269) 657-3870. Services will be held on Friday at 1 PM at the Lawton EMC. Following the service, food and fellowship will be shared in the church hall. Burial Almena Cemetery. Visit Stan’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Forgotten Man Mission or Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.