Richard D. "Dick" Barber
July 4, 1928 - December 5, 2016
Richard D. “Dick” Barber, known to his friends as “Blue Eyes,” passed away on December 5, 2016, just six months after the death of his wife, Sallie Sue. Dick is survived by his five children: Rick Cheryl, Kim Glass Ron, Scott, David, and Lisa Clemens Mark; six grandchildren: Becca, Alex and Tori Barber, Josh and Zack Glass, and Cody Barber; and a great-grandchild on the way.
Upon graduation from what was then Salem High School, Dick enlisted and served two years in the US Navy aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. Hawkins. He then completed a bachelor’s degree at University of Oregon in 1952, followed by a law degree from Willamette University in 1955. He spent a number of years working for Salem Title Company before entering into private practice with DeArmond & Sherman law partners. This would eventually become DeArmond, Sherman & Barber, and he was with this firm for 15 years.
Following an appointment to the bench in 1974, Dick served as a Circuit Court judge in Marion County until his retirement in 2003, and then served as a senior judge for several years after that. He held the distinction of being the only circuit judge to preside in every county in Oregon. He also performed several thousand weddings during his career, the last being only weeks before his death.
Dick’s love affair with music began in third grade at Englewood Elementary School, and as a member of the Master Bread Junior Band. His musical mentor was Vernon Wiscarson, his teacher at Parrish Junior High and Salem High. As a high school senior, he was already playing clarinet in the Willamette University Concert Band. He was also an original member of the Salem Pops Orchestra under Del Milne, dating back to 1962, and continued with the Pops until approximately 2015.
Dick loved Dixieland Jazz, and helped form the Capital City Jazz Band in 1975. The band’s final concert was held in May 2015.
He was an avid Ducks fan and longtime member of the Oregon Alumni Association, as well as the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He was also well known for celebrating his birthday every year on the 4th of July, serving his famous Gin Fizz cocktails to many generations of guests over a nearly 50 year period.
The family will be holding a Celebration of Life for Dick on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the West Salem Foursquare Church, 3094 Gehlar Road NW, Salem, OR 97304, to begin at 2pm.