David Wayne Barber, 71, of Ogden, died at 2:30 a.m. Sunday (April 30, 2023) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, after a three-week hospitalization for a non-COVID lung infection. He was born October 8, 1951, in Mattoon, Illinois, to Letha Marie Lindley Barber and Marvin Wayne Barber. He lived in Neoga for the first several years of his life, then moved to Danville, Illinois. He graduated from Danville High School in 1969, attended Danville Area Community College, and graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts education. He earned a master’s degree in education with a computer technology focus from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in 2000.
He taught industrial arts/graphic arts and later was the Technology Coordinator in the Danville School District until 1998. He then worked at St. Joseph-Ogden High School as the Technology Coordinator and taught computer technology classes. He retired as a teacher in 2006 but continued to work at SJO High School as a network administrator until 2020.
His parents, his step-father William Smith, and his infant brother Timmy Smith preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Peggi White; his children, Lindsay Barber-Peddycoart (Brent Peddycoart), Beau Barber (Katherine Vande Pol), Sean Barber (Rachel Tautges); his granddaughter, Lillian Peddycoart; sisters, Kathy O’Brian and Deborah Seifert, brothers William Smith, Jr. and Michael Smith; multiple nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and special family friend Collin Collier. He loved his children and granddaughter with all his heart.
David was not a stranger to adversity. In 1991, David survived being lost in the Costa Rican jungle, and in 1996 he survived an F3 tornado that damaged his home and community. David was a ready volunteer and served on the Mapping the Future committee to rebuild Ogden after the 1996 tornado. In addition, he loved to travel and enjoyed a family trip to his ancestral homeland, Ireland, England, and Scotland.
David could find a connection with every person he met. He was an early adopter of technology and a lifelong learner. He was a skilled carpenter, and it was reflected in his highly calloused hands. He was retired but did not know it and worked every day on his property or in his workshop. He especially enjoyed rural living on four acres adjacent to the Kickapoo Rail Trail.
His life will be celebrated on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 309 W. Green Street, Urbana where he was a long-time member. The Rev. Karen Bush will officiate. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. The family requests that everyone be masked for the funeral and the visitation. Freese Funeral Home, 302 E. Grand Ave., St. Joseph, is handling the arrangements. Condolences can be offered at freesefh.com. Memorials can be made to the Kickapoo Rail Trail, https://www.onekrt.org/donate in David’s name.
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