Joseph Henry Barber, Jr. was born the son of Ethel and Joseph Henry Barber, Sr. on June 24, 1925 in Harperville, Mississippi. After graduating high school in Harperville, Joe served in the United States Army for two and a half years in both European and Pacific Theatres. In 1950, he graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He served as the Vice President of Business Affairs at Mississippi College from 1973-1993 until his retirement at age 68. As an active member of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) for 43 years, Joe served in numerous positions before being elected President of the organization in 1984. Incredibly invested in his faith, Joe was ordained a deacon in the First Baptist Church of New Orleans at age 27 and faithfully attended First Baptist Church of Clinton as a member for nearly 40 years. While in New Orleans, he served as business manager at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary before moving on to comptroller of Mississippi State College for Women. During his family's time in Columbus (1957-1973), he served as deacon, Chairman Deacon, and church treasurer to the First Baptist Church of Columbus. He was also an active member of the Lions Club for 50 years.
Joe married Betty Renshaw Barber on December 23, 1950. They were married just shy of 62 years. Joe was survived by his wife, Betty, and their three children, Beth Barber Kaiser (Richmond, VA), Beverly Barber Raddin (Clinton, MS), and Joe Henry III (Kingsport, TN); and son-in-law David Raddin and daughter-in-law Reba Finch Barber. Survivors also include seven grandchildren: Taylor Willis Pedigo and husband Jeff; Olivia Willis Graugnard and husband Jack; Arthur Willis; EJ Kaiser; and Kathryn, Callie, and Meredith Barber. Other survivors are two great-grandchildren, Mike Graugnard and Mikayla Kaiser; as well as several nieces and nephews; and brother John Sidney Barber and sister-in-law Barbara Barber. He was known to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Papa Joe.
Joe Barber Jr. passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, August 26 at age 87. The visitation will take place in First Baptist Church of Clinton's sanctuary at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday morning, August 28, and a service will follow at 11:00 A.M. There will be a graveside service Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 P.M. in Harperville, Mississippi. Pallbearers are Arthur Willis, Jack Graugnard, Jeff Pedigo, David Raddin, Sim Worley, and Paul Cassidy. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Clinton, Mississippi College, or the charitable organization of one's choice.