Richard K. Barber

January 11, 1930 ~ March 26, 2020 (age 90)


Richard K. Barber, 90, of Mattoon, passed away at 8:55 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at his residence.

Richard was born January 11, 1930 in rural Moultrie County, the son of John and Gladys (Coffey) Barber.  A lady from Coles Station delivered him, because the doctor could not make it to the family home because of a snow storm.  He married Mary Lou Wente on October 8, 1949 in Neoga.  She preceded him in death on September 23, 2014.

Richard started his career as manager at Gebhart’s Auto Supply in Mt. Vernon, and was then transferred to Urbana.  He then worked for the Mattoon Water Department, before taking employment with Ameren, where he worked for 30 years before his retirement.  Richard was a long-time member of Immaculate Conception Church in Mattoon, and a founding father of Camp New Hope in Mattoon.  He was also a member of the Moose, Eagles, Elks, and a former member of CCAR.  For many years, Richard enjoyed his time spent as a baseball coach.

He was also preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Andrew, Wayne, and John Barber; granddaughter, Dana Lynn; and son-in-law, Jim Shafer.

Richard is survived by his children, Linda Shafer of Taylorville, Kenneth (wife, Velma) Barber of Merced, CA, Sharon (husband, Terry) Holderfield of Mattoon, and Ronald (wife, Annie) Barber of Charleston; grandchildren, David (wife, Jenny) Dickerson, Joe (wife, Patty) Shafer, Dacia (Tim Passoni) Nisbet, Jonathan (wife, Stephanie) Barber, Jeff Barber, Ellyn (Steve Bower) Barber, Emily Barber, Kendra (husband, Jeremy) Saal, Kenneth Barber, and Anthony Barber; great grandchildren, Averi Nisbet, Kynnedi Goldstein, Korbyn Passoni, Quynn Passoni, Noah Passoni, Jasmyn Passoni, Andrew Saal, Nicholas Saal, Isabella Saal, Nicholas Norman, Laney Dickerson, Molly Shafer, Jack Shafer, Ian Barber, Colin Barber, Haven Bower, Kaya Bower, Leona Bower; brother, Jack (wife, Lucy) Barber of Lexington, KY; sister, Joyce (husband, Marvin) Oakley of Casey; sisters-in-law, Pat Kuhns of Effingham, Alice Fisher of Springfield, and JoAnn Wente of Springfield; brother-in-law, Mike Wente of CA; and many nieces and nephews.

Private family graveside ceremonies will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Mattoon.  A memorial mass and celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Camp New Hope, PO Box 764, Mattoon, IL 61938.

The family has entrusted Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home, 202 W. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568 with ceremonies.

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Funeral Service


Private Graveside Ceremony


Camp New Hope
PO Box 794, Mattoon IL 61938

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