In Memoriam: Mike Barber
Mike Barber, long time resident of Unalaska, passed away on Nov. 9, 2021, in Spokane, Washington after a battle with cancer.
Mike was born on Nov. 7, 1950, in Tacoma, Washington. He grew up in nearby Federal Way. Mike was an entrepreneur from a young age. As a kid he enjoyed landscaping, and he started a landscaping business as a teenager. He later moved to Anchorage where he worked selling fire equipment. He started his own business in this field, first in Anchorage and later relocating to the community of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in the mid-1980s. In addition to Mike’s Fire Equipment, he owned a company that sold appliances, a painting business, and Aleutian Fresh Seafoods. Aleutian Fresh Seafoods distributed local seafood nationwide.
Mike was drawn to Unalaska for the simpler way of life that was offered in a small town. Unalaska quickly became his home and he dedicated his life to giving back to the community that he appreciated so much. As a business owner and an individual he was generous with his time and money, donating to non-profits and people in need. He also worked hard to help local residents struggling with addiction.
Mike was an early member of the Ballyhoo Lions Club, a service organization that filled much of his free time. He served in many capacities on the Ballyhoo Lions Club board, including multiple terms as president. He was well known in the statewide Lions Club organization, serving as the District Governor for all of Alaska. But most of all, his legacy with the Ballyhoo Lions Club is remembered for his high level of participation. He was a leader in nearly every project that the Ballyhoo Lions Club took on in the decades that he served. He is also remembered as a tremendous advocate for the organization who worked to build local membership.
Near the end of Mike’s life, he was blessed with the love of his new wife Catherine. She was an amazing partner for him, and later his caregiver. Mike was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and community member.
Mike is survived by his wife, Catherine Barber; his sons Aaron, Adam (Kayli), Andy (Jen), James (Cassandra); and grandchildren Ayla, Elijah, Isaac, Connor, Gracie, Jace, Levi, Natalie and Paetyn.
A memorial service for Mike Barber will take place this Sunday, Dec. 12, 4 p.m. at the Unalaska City School District Small Gymnasium.