Donald Richard Barber (1935 - 2017)

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Donald Richard Barber, pilot, engineer, musician, skier, philosopher and perpetual traveler, died in Anchorage, Alaska, on Dec. 28, 2017, at the age of 82. Donald was born on March 16, 1935, in Watertown, Wis., to Luther Harvey Barber and Hazel Barber, nee Fykerud. He was the grandson of Hans Fykerud, renowned concert violinist and Norwegian folk hero.
Donald grew up in southern Wisconsin. His proclivity for all things mechanical was apparent at an early age and thus began a lifetime love of both electrical and mechanical engineering, and of cars and motorcycles. He loved riding his BSA Gold Star motorcycle, hunting pheasants and ducks along the Mississippi River, and building and flying radio controlled gliders.
In 1956, he married Dorothy Anderson and they started a family. Donald flew single engine planes in Wisconsin, participating in air shows and completing his ratings on wheels, skis and floats. He became a flight instructor and enjoyed teaching others how to fly.
In 1973, they moved the family to Alaska. Times were tough for a short time, but then the pipeline opened for business, and "flying jobs were aplenty." Donald earned his Airline Transport Pilot certificate and Captain Barber spent the next 26 years flying in and around and to and from Alaska. He flew as wide a variety of aircraft as he had passengers, and he found his passion doing the type of flying that he always wanted to do. His years of flying provided him with many stories that he loved to share with anyone who would listen.
Like his grandfather and his mother, Donald was a gifted musician. He played the piano, violin, mandolin and harmonica. Second only to his love of flying was his love of skiing. A technical skiing perfectionist, Donald was on the ski slopes well into his 70s. In addition to his other interests he had a great appreciation for literature, and especially enjoyed reading and re-reading the works of William Shakespeare.
Donald was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dorothy.
He leaves five children and their families: Donald Barber Jr., Denise Herinckx, Diane Hansen, Doreen Barber and Devon Jo Barber; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He loved his children, and they loved him in return.
So Long, Captain.

Funeral Home
Kehl's Legacy Funeral Home
11621 Old Seward Highway
Anchorage, AK 99515
(907) 344-1497
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Jan. 14, 2018