Our loving father and grandfather passed away on Jun. 18, 2017. Joe was the youngest of 3 born on Sept. 25, 1930 to Joseph and Marion Barbour in Greenock, Scotland.
Joe came to the United States as a young boy, growing up in Paterson, NJ. As a young man, he graduated from high school and with persuasion from the nuns, he enrolled and graduated from New Jersey State Teaching College and became a 6th grade teacher. After one year, it was not his calling and joined the Air Force in 1955. Interestingly enough, he was stationed at Camp Parks in Dublin, CA only to move to the area 25 years later with his family. Joe was Staff Sergeant at the time he was discharged in 1959.
After getting out of the service, as he always told us “selling group insurance” was his boyhood dream and had a long career with Traveler’s Insurance Company. He moved across the United States with the company and during his time in Hawaii, he met his wife, Helen and they were married on Sept. 14, 1963. They were married for 51 years.
With the Traveler’s, Joe and family lived in several places but has been long time resident of Danville, CA. His love for tennis allowed him to make lifetime friends during the many mixed doubles matches and Tuesday night games. His dry wit and sense of humor had us laughing about one of his many adventures. He enjoyed learning Spanish and traveled to Bolivia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Spain to live with a host family and acclimate to the culture. Over the years, Joe was involved in his community. After retirement, he sat on the Contra Costa Grand Jury and also volunteered at the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program to provide free counseling about Medicare. He and his wife sponsored a child through Common Hope, an organization who helps children and families in Guatemala. Joe traveled to Guatemala to volunteer and help build houses, kitchens and see his sponsored child graduate from high school.
Joe is survived by children Andrew (Karen Honda), Jeanne Esse (Brian) and Stuart Lee (Sara), and grandchildren Lauren, Caitlin, George, Claire, Stephany, Ian, two great grandkids and his loyal dog Harry. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen.
Donations can be sent to SPCA or Alzheimer’s Association.