Carroll G. Barber, a Fairbanks resident for 65 years, passed away Nov. 14, 2012, at age 83. Carroll was a veteran of the Korean War
, retired member of the Teamster Union Local 959, and a key figure in Fairbanks baseball for more than 50 years.
Barber was inducted into the Interior Alaska Baseball Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2009, and selected as the Alaska Goldpanners' H.A. "Red" Boucher Community Service award winner in 2011.
Carroll is survived by his brother, Bruce (Norma), of Anchorage; and 14 nieces and nephews, and many grand, great-grand, and great-great-grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Vic and Elmah; and brothers, Dale, Pete, Bob and Reade Wendell.
Carroll was born in Becton, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1928, the fourth of six sons. The Barber family moved to Idaho during the Depression of the early 1930s. Carroll graduated from Sandpoint (Idaho) High School in 1946, and served in Korea with the U.S. Army
, before settling in Fairbanks.
Carroll first came to the Interior in 1947 with his mother and younger brother, Philip, driving the Alaska Highway at age 18, joining his father who had arrived earlier that year. The rest of the family followed, and by 1950 had established V.D. Barber and Son Trucking. The Barbers were well known in Alaskan trucking circles, and Carroll and brothers, Dale and Bruce, continued to run trucks throughout Alaska during the 1960s and through the end of the construction of the Alaska pipeline in 1979; and well into the 1980s.
Carroll was probably best known for his lifelong involvement in Little League baseball in Fairbanks, coaching from the mid-1950s through the1970s, and again during the 1980s. He is best known as the coach of the Fairbanks Little League Red Sox and a number of All Star teams for the league. Carroll also represented Alaska Little League at the Western regional meetings in San Bernadino, Calif., and at national meetings in Williamsport, Pa. He will be remembered by many whose lives he enriched with his time.
After retiring from coaching, Carroll spent the last 30 years as a member of the Alaska Goldpanners organization, serving on the Board of Directors and as the head of field maintenance. In the early 1980s, Goldpanner General Manager Don Dennis offered Barber a lifetime position taking care of their field. He accepted, and as late as August of this year, Carroll Barber could be seen at all times of the day and night, setting up hoses to water the outfield or riding the grass mower at Growden Park. When contacted, Dennis said, "Carroll will forever be remembered as one of the most influential people in the history of the Goldpanners, and certainly the most valuable from the 'hands on' perspective."
A memorial will be announced at a later date.