In memory of Jan Barber

The staff and board of Eckhart Public Library extend heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Jan Barber, who passed away July 22. Jan, a former president of the Friends of the Eckhart Public Library, dedicated her time and leadership skills to serving the library. Director Janelle H. Graber recalled,
“Jan and I regularly met prior to the Friends monthly board meetings. She was very organized and always had a detailed agenda prepared. Once we finished reviewing the evening’s upcoming business, we took time to catch up on our mutual interests, primarily news about each other’s beloved daughters. I will always be grateful for her time and interest.”

Jan was remembered in this Aug. 31 article by KPCNews, which is republished here with permission.


‘Killer B’ went about serving quietly

By Octavia Lehman,
AUBURN — Jan Barber quietly went about serving in her community of Auburn.
A retired educator, Barber volunteered with Psi Iota Xi, The Friends of the Eckhart Public Library and at her church, Auburn First United Methodist Church.
Current Friends President Mike Mapes recalled that Barber, who preceded him in the position, had become president with no training for the role. She wanted to make sure the next president had ample opportunity to learn the ropes, so she stepped down from the position a year early to be a mentor to the next president. Unfortunately, that time was cut short after a few months, but Mapes said he appreciated the opportunity to learn from her.
Barber died July 22 at the age of 67.
“I think she was one of the best friends the library has ever had,” Mapes said.
As an educator, Barber had a no-nonsense style of teaching. She expected her students to learn. She earned her nickname as a “Killer B” with the sixth- grade teaching block at DeKalb Middle School where she taught with fellow Killer Bs Carol Brinkman and Jean Bowman.
Barber worked for the DeKalb Central School District for 38 years. She started as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Waterloo Elementary and retired in 2006 as a sixth grade teacher for DeKalb Middle School.
Sue Simpson, a friend of Barber’s and fellow Psi Iota Xi, said she recalls when her son came home from school.
“He said, ‘Mom, I have the Killer Bs!'” Simpson said. Barber’s teaching style was just what her son needed going into a new school environment.
“She really took him under her wing,” Simpson said.
Barber held several leadership positions in Psi Iota Xi, a women’s philanthropic organization. She served as president, and most recently as treasurer.
“She was very good about helping,” Simpson. “She was one that would get things done and do it. She didn’t care for the accolades.”
When Simpson was the national president of Psi Iota Xi in 2007, she knew Barber was the right person to help. Barber handled the registration for national convention of 500 women.
Aside from volunteering, Barber was passionate about sailing. She and her husband Dick, were members of the Harbor Yacht Club at Sandusky Harbor Marina in Ohio. They spent many of their weekends on their sailboat, Teacher’s Pet, and at their yacht club.
Barber’s daughter, Missy, often joined on sailing adventures, and after she married her husband, Robert, he joined too.
Jeff Turner, a friend of the family and fellow member at First United Methodist Church, gave the eulogy at Barber’s funeral.
Turner said Barber was a caring person, and not flashy.
“She quietly went about helping,” he said.
She was the third-generation of being an only daughter, something that continued when she and Dick had their daughter Melissa.
“She was the apple of her eye,” Turner said.
Barber and her husband met in high school in their hometown of Connersville. They dated in high school and then got back together in college, Turner said. After they graduated from Ball State University, they both found teaching jobs in Auburn. They married June 22, 1968.
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2 Responses to In memory of Jan Barber

  1. Pingback: Friends of the Eckhart Public Library Annual Meeting to Honor Jan Barber | Charlie Chat

  2. Pingback: New painting honors late Friend | Charlie Chat

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