Philip Donald Barber Sr.
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Philip Donald Barber Sr., 83, was born in Des Moines on March 3, 1927. He passed away in the early morning hours of February 21, 2011, at Bright Kavanagh House as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident six months earlier. At the time of his passing he was surrounded by loved ones, as he always was throughout his family life.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Friday, February 25, at Merle Hay Funeral Home (4400 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines), with entombment at Sunset Memorial Gardens (7601 Fleur Drive). Following entombment, the family will receive friends at Echo Valley Country Club at 12:30 p.m., for a commemoration of the life of Phil Barber Sr. Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at Merle Hay Funeral Home.
As a young man, Phil was athletic and excelled in boxing, which became a sport he enjoyed following throughout his life. He served his country honorably in the United States Navy during World War II. When he returned from the south Pacific theater, he married Jacquelyn (Jackie) Barber, his wife of 55 years. From that union they raised a family of five children that grew to 61 grand, great, and great-great-grandchildren.
He was proud to be recognized locally as a fine chef and along with Jackie, owned Lil Joes Italian Restaurant, the "little place with the big heart." Many family members worked in the business over the years. Lil Joes for many was a Southside landmark.
Upon retirement, he enjoyed "making his daily rounds," stopping and visiting with people he had known over the years. Some of his favorite stops were Graziano's Italian Grocery where he would get caught up with Frances and the crew, Noodles Restaurant where he would sing Sinatra with Pete and the gang, Crave Italian American where he would stop and visit with his daughter Bambi and make sure the customers were all being taken care of, and Brewer Meats where he would meet with son Philip Junior for lunch.
Other favorite pastimes were creating art, fishing with any one of his grandkids, and golf. He never missed a chance to be with family or friends, and enjoyed sharing the good times.
His beloved wife Jackie passed away in 2003. A few years later Phil met and renewed an old Lincoln High School relationship with Barb Porter. They bonded and were enjoying life until the end. Phil will be missed enormously by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his step-mother, Darlyne Barber; sister, Tracey Barber Andrews; sons, Jeffrey (Toni) Barber and Philip Donald Jr. (Carol) Barber; daughters, Lynn Beidler, Delana (Dale) Hutchison, and Bambi Barber. Memorial contributions may be made to Bright Kavanagh House, 3000 Easton Blvd., in the name of the Barber Family.
Published in Des Moines Register on Feb. 23, 2011