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George Elias Barbar

Barbar Barbar, George Elias, a man devoted to his family, his faith and his community and a development visionary in Boca Raton for more than 30 years, lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2007. He was 74. A pioneer in creating family oriented residential developments and concepts for a downtown core for Boca Raton in the late 1980s, Barbar spent much of his life taking bold entrepreneurial steps. Even as a child in his native Furn-El-Shuback, Lebanon, he sold school supplies to other students out of his desk. He spent two decades in Jamaica as a successful merchant, car dealer and aluminum industry founder. He moved his family to Boca Raton in 1974. During his tenure as the CEO of The Barbar Group, he and his family led the development of such communities as Woodfield Hunt Club and Woodfield Country Club, the first country club concept centered around the family. He also put forth several concepts for the development of downtown Boca Raton, which helped spark the creation of many of the projects currently in existence in the area. His most recent venture was as chairman of Barbar & Associates, a real estate consulting services firm he ran with his eldest son, Anthony. He also gave unselfishly of his time and financial resources over the years to numerous charitable and cultural organizations in south Palm Beach County. He served as a trustee and board member of Lynn University, Florida Atlantic University Foundation, Inc., and the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He also was an active member of Boca Raton Community Church. Barbar received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career both locally and nationally for his business and philanthropic contributions, including the Spirit of America (U.S. Olympic Committee), the Ellis Island Award, Silver Medallion Brotherhood (National Conference of Christians and Jews), and the Business Leader of the Year (Fort Lauderdale/Sun-Sentinel Company). He also was named 'Legend of Boca Raton' by the Historic Society. In 1985 he had the honor to be appointed by Florida's Governor Bob Graham to serve as a commissioner for the Florida High Speed Rail Commission. Barbar is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Alice; his five children: Anthony and his wife, Vicki, Philip and his wife, Connie, Vicky and her husband, Robert, John and his wife Lynn, and Andrew and his wife, Ramona; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Samir of Venezuela, as well as numerous family members in Lebanon, Jamaica and Vancouver, B.C. Viewings will be held on Monday, November 26, from 6-8 p.m., and Tuesday, November 27, from 1-1:50 p.m., followed by services at 2 p.m. at Boca Raton Community Church at 470 NW 4th Avenue, Boca Raton, Florida 33432. The family asks that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to Boca Raton Community Church or Sheridan House Family Ministries. Contributions may be sent to the church address.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Nov. 25, 2007
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