BARBEE, TOM DEMPSTER, 85, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at the Episcopal Church Home.
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Tom (or "Doogs" as he was affectionately known to his family) was born in Louisville, on January 12, 1929. He graduated from Louisville Male High School in 1946. After one year at the University of Louisville, he transferred to Baylor University, where he graduated in 1951 with a degree in English. After marrying Eleanor Sue Gregg of Decatur, Alabama, on August 15, 1953, Tom enlisted in the United States Air Force. During his four years of military service, he achieved the rank of Captain and was part of the first squadron to fly fighter jets in the USAF.
After his service, Tom joined the family business founded in 1920 by his father, Thomas L. Barbee. He eventually became President of The Barbee Company, Inc., an enterprise specializing in automotive and industrial heat transfer products. Upon retiring from the business in 1998, he continued an active lifestyle. Tom was a generous philanthropist and a lifelong member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church where he served in many capacities, including deacon.
An avid thrill-seeker, Tom and his wife spent many years sailing his boat, flying his plane and traveling. He was frequently spotted around his Bowman Field hangar with his favorite companion, a yellow lab named Beau, who faithfully accompanied him on many excursions. Tom and Eleanor enjoyed beagling with the Clear Creek Beagle Club in the latter years of his life.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas L. Barbee and Nell Dempster Barbee, and his sister, Betty Martin Barbee.
Tom is survived by his wife of 61 years, Eleanor Gregg Barbee, and his four children, Rebecca Barbee Weller (Ed) of High Point, NC, Beverly Barbee Fleece (Steve), Thomas B. Barbee (Teresa) and William Dempster Barbee Sr. (Michelle), all of Louisville. He is also survived by his seven grandchildren, Brooks, Clay, Matthew, Megan (Daniel), Morgan, Mary Katherine and William Jr.
Funeral service will be 11a.m. Saturday , Crescent Hill Baptist Church 2800 Frankfort Ave. Private burial Cave Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, June 13, 2014 from 5-7 p.m. at Pearson's, 149 Breckenridge Lane.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that condolences be sent in the form of contributions to the Crescent Hill Baptist Church Building Fund, 2800 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY, 40206.
Pearson Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
Published in The Courier-Journal from June 12 to June 14, 2014