Obituary: Phil Merrell Barber - Men's Basketball 1952-56 - July 11, 2018
Phil Merrell Barber
August 8, 1934 – July 11, 2018
Phil Merrell Barber was born August 8, 1934 in Ruston, Louisiana, the son of Vaughn and Sally Barber. He passed from this life on July 11th, 2018 at the age of 83.
Phil will always be remembered for his loving devotion to his wife of 38 years, Muriel Ann Barber who preceded him in death along with love for his daughter, Sara Rickett, son-in-law, Mike Rickett and grandchildren Reese, Avery and Mallory. He will also be remembered for his patriotism and volunteer work at Carroll Senior High School.
Throughout his life Phil lived in Friendship, Bienville and Gibsland, Louisiana where his Dad was principal and mother taught third grade. He moved to Lafayette, Louisiana in 1945 and graduated from Lafayette High School in 1952. He received his degree from Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and graduated in 1957. While at SLI, he played basketball and during his senior year was President of the “S” Club and the College of Liberal Arts. He married the love of his life, Muriel in 1957 and served in the U.S. Army at William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso, Texas, discharging in 1959. He began working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with Associates Commercial Corporation until 1961 when he was recalled to active duty by the army and sent to Fort Gibson, Georgia. After service, he returned to Associates beginning a 40 year career with stops in Little Rock, Dallas, Beaumont, San Antonio, Houston and Arlington as Branch Manager and District Manager. He retired in 1996.
He moved to Southlake, TX in 1978 and after retirement devoted much of his time to volunteer work at Carroll Senior High School. He enjoyed selling football tickets at the Senior High School, helping with the football chains at the JV and Freshman games, managing player flags at the stadium and coaching the 7 on 7 team for several years. He was one of the original Dragon Council members and in 2011 was elected to the “Carroll Athletic Hall of Honor”. He’s generally considered the Dragon’s #1 fan proudly sharing that he only missed one football game from 1978 to 2016 … for Sara’s wedding. He was especially proud of taking his friend, Glen Brasher to all of the Carroll football games for 22 years. An avid sports enthusiast, Phil was a loud and devoted New York Yankees fan from the 1950’s to today. He could name every Yankee player by position from Mantle, Berra, DiMaggio until present. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Grapevine along with continuing to support Quitman United Methodist Church in Quitman, Louisiana where his family were members for many years. He is preceded in death by his wife, Muriel George Barber in 1995, his brother Vaughn Barber, Jr. of Baton Rouge Louisiana and his parents. He is also preceded in death by special friends, Tom Anderson of Dallas and David Moore of Lake Charles. Survived by his daughter, Sara Rickett, husband Mike Rickett, grandchildren Reese Rickett, Avery Rickett and Mallory Rickett of Tomball, TX, Sister-in-Law, Wanda Barber, niece Karen Firnberg both from Baton Rouge, LA and cousin’s Bill Waldrip of San Antonio and Dr. Ed Waldrip of Quitman, LA.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.