Robert Jackson Barben
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BARBEN, Robert Jackson, age 95, of Avon Park, FL, peacefully passed away after a long and productive life on Tues-day, Decem-ber 29, 2015. He was born June 22, 1920 in Huntingdon, PA to John Kinsloe & Sarah (Simpson) Barben. After graduating from Juniata College, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WW II becoming a pilot and was stationed at the American Flight Training Base in Lake-land, FL. In 1943, he was relocated to Avon Park, as a Training Instructor of B-17 Bombers where he met and married his wife, Jane Hartt in 1945. After the war, they returned to Pennsylvania where he attended Dicken-son School of Law, gradu-ating in 1949. In 1950 Bob and Jane returned to Avon Park where he worked for his father-in-law, Earl W. Hartt, in the family citrus and cattle operation. In 1976 he established his cit-rus operation as Robert J. Barben, Inc. He was a mem-ber of the Avon Park Noon Rotary Club, former Mayor of Avon Park from 1969-1974, a founding director of the Highlands County Growers Association and served on numerous coun-cils and boards related to citrus, agriculture, and conservation. He served as chairman of the board for the UF Foundation and the SHARE Council and was the recipient of the University of Florida's Distinguished Service Award for Agricul-ture. Bob was named Outstanding Agriculturist receiving the Agribusiness Institute's White Hat Award for his commitment to his community and state's agriculture. In 2012, he was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and in 2015 into the Avon Park Champions Club Hall of Fame. He was a founding director and former Chairman of the Board of Highlands Independent Bank. Bob was a devout Christian who taught Sunday School and served as the Sunday School Superintendent for many years. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jane Hartt Barben; children, Anne Furr (Mike), Robert H. Barben (Mary), Jane E. Cassaras (Michael), Melinda Colson, John Barben (Laura), Patricia Garcia (Robert), William Barben (Nicole); nephew, Steve Hartt (Velva); grandchildren, Allyson Park (Sean), Mary Michelle Immenschuh (Charlie), Stephen Furr (Katy), Robert H. Barben, Jr., Bailey Barben, John Michael Cassaras (Courtney), Robert Cassaras, Nicholas Cassaras (Kristi), Jennifer Jackson (Ryan), Tate Colson, Ashleigh Barben, Jackson Barben, Mark Barben, William Garcia, Stephen Garcia, Kinsloe Barben, William Barben; great-grandchildren, Christopher Park, Lizzie Park, Josephine Immenschuh, Blair Cassaras, Emma Furr; great- nephews, Brad Hartt (Randie Jo), Ryne Hartt; brother-in-law, Leonard Fuoss; and nephews, Bill, Bob, and John Fuoss. He was preceded in death by his sister, Joanne "Jody" Barben Fuoss. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM at the Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church. A private interment will be held in Bougainvillea Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 1110 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33870 or United Methodist Home for Children, Inc. in Pennsylvania.

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Published in on Jan. 4, 2016.
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12 entries
March 3, 2016
Was just asking about the Barben's and learned that he has passed. Always such a nice man and will miss seeing him at his favorite eating place. He will for sure be missed by many.
Sharon & Roy Winegard
January 8, 2016
Please accept our sincere sympathy at the loss of Bob, we will all miss him. Love, Linda and Lester
Linda & Lester Collier
January 8, 2016
Mr. Barben was one of the most respected leaders in Avon Park. Our prayers are with your family.
Dean & Jean Lemler
January 8, 2016
Lindy I am so sad to hear of your dads death. That is really tough!!!my heart is with you as all our parents are in the "golden age" and I cherish your quality of being so thoughtful all of the time
January 6, 2016
We are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
George & Janice Kapous & Family
January 5, 2016
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Homes and Crematory
January 4, 2016
Mr. Barben will be missed by many. He always had a great big smile for me and I will miss him. Praying for Divine Comfort for all the family.
Beverly Kautz (Pollard)
January 4, 2016
Thoughts and prayers are with you, Robert, Billy, Stephen, and your entire family Patty.
xo, Kathy and Pat
January 4, 2016
Bob was a wonderful person and friend. God Bless you Jane. Avon Park will not be the same! RIP
Ricky & Renee Green
January 4, 2016
So sorry for your loss. Mr Barben was a great man and a great neighbor. he will be sorely missed
Greg "Bubba" Warner
January 3, 2016
My deepest sympathies to you. You are in my prayers.

Trudie Mitchell
January 3, 2016
May God bless you all during this time of grief & loss...

With my deepest sympathy...
Gail Harris
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