Donald P. Barber, Jr., passed away unexpectedly on March 31, 2014 at his home. Don was a Pensacola native and spent most of his life in Pensacola. He was born at Pensacola Hospital on November 7, 1936. He graduated from Pensacola High school and was a proud Eagle Scout. While serving in the U.S. Army Don met the love of his life, Elisabeth V. Barber (deceased) and after returning to Pensacola in 1962 they were married. His love early on was automobiles. He got his start at Jarrard Motors on Garden Street, then moved to Muldon Ford in 1964 and then to Pensacola Buggy Works in 1966. Around 1968 he opened his first used car lot at the intersection of "E" and Garden Street and Barrancas Avenue (an old Tastee Freeze). It was called Don Barber Clean Cars, the name he kept through at least five other locations. That says a lot! He sold quality, clean cars and had an abundance of integrity. His last lot was on Pensacola Boulevard, and he was known as one of Pensacola's #1 Wheels Dealers. He retired around 2003 and started helping people through Don Barber Health Associates.
Don was a very loving husband and father. He was a community activist in every sense of the word and had a leading role in getting the Florida Highway Patrol their first canine dog units. He could always be found, with Liz of course, in attendance at County Commission meetings, was a past President of the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association and was very active in helping local, state and national political candidates with their campaigns. He was an avid fan of our U.S. Navy Blue Angels, was an ardent supporter of the NRA, and a Mason, Scottish Rite and Shriner. Don enjoyed road trips with Liz, seeing the sights and nature along the way. His pets were many cats that he loved very much. He loved to help Liz work in their yard and watch the birds. They built their Dream Home around 1975.
Don was a world class fish fryer, BBQ'er and smoker of meat, especially the sausage! When he cooked at his car lot it was very informal and his many friends and acquaintances were always in attendance. If they couldn't make it he would send them some food. His favorite haunt was the Coffee Cup. He had innumerable friends and was the most loving, kind and generous man - he will be missed by everyone. Remember his million dollar smile! There was nothing he wouldn't do to help someone.
Surviving are his two sons, Herb Caldwell and Elwood James Caldwell (Debbie Scullin) and daughter, Cynthia Leah Caldwell (Charlie Clinton Finch, Jr.), all of Pensacola.
Memorials in Don's name may be made to the Wildlife Sanctuary of NWF at 105 North "S" Street, Pensacola, FL 32505.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, May 7, from 5-7:30 PM at 5499 Pensacola Boulevard.
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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Apr. 13, 2014