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Francis Barbour

Francis D. Barbour

September 9th, 1936 - February 8th, 2024

Francis's Obituary

Born in Chicago IL, the eldest surviving child of Osborne and Frances (Williams) Barbour, the family moved to Covert Michigan in search of the American Dream. F. D. Barbour graduated from Covert High School in May of 1954, in pursuit of that dream he immediately enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was one of the first black servicemen to be assigned to the Intelligence Career Field in that branch and after years of proving himself as a notable asset Frank was chosen for an elite group brought together to establish the combat intelligence criteria for the new Air Force weapon systems that included the B-58 and the FB-111 low altitude strategic bombers. Frank assisted with writing the Combat Intelligence portions of Air Crew Manuals relating to mission tactics of these weapon systems. F. D. Barbour was a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization team. This entailed tactful and diplomatic meetings with Allied Military Intelligence Representatives from all NATO countries allowing our allies to realize they were a necessary and integral part of the Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP).

F. D.Barbour was assigned to a “startup Intelligence Unit” in the early stages of the United States involvement in the Vietnam Conflict in 1964. The task was to develop strategies that would lead to successful tactics that were later refined and found to be extremely effective in the Desert Storm Conflict of the Persian Gulf Decades later. Involved in the planning of the first air strike against communist forces outside of the boundaries of South Vietnam and other operations earned Francis D Barbour the Bronze Star. Subsequent operations earned Barbour the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal just to name a few.

On a lighter note, Frank was the honor Graduate of his NCO Academy Preparatory School and was appointed mayor of the military housing complex known as Glory Farms at RAF Upper Heyford, Gloustershire, England where he also raised his family for several years. Barbour served as Equal Opportunity NCO for the 544th Intelligence Wing at Offutt AFB, Bellevue, Nebraska where he retired as an Intelligence Operations Superintendent in the Grade of E-7, Master Sergeant.

After such a notable Air Force Career Frank Barbour graduated from Bellevue University with a BA in Business Administration on the Dean’s List and assisted bringing Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity to Bellevue University and was a charter member of chapter Omicron.

After serving his country and preparing himself to further his career academically, Frank Barbour attended Creighton University in Nebraska for courses in theology and after 3 years of training in the diaconate of the Archdiocese of Omaha was ordained a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church where is served for many years at Saint Benedict The Moor Church in Omaha, NE.

F. D. Barbour’s Professional career is as impressive as his military service and was performed in a variety of settings from Manufacturing, Importing, Medical and Construction to Governmental and Consultation with the common role of procurement. It was his role as the Purchasing Manager for the State of Nebraska and (up until circa 2015) his contracted consultant role with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha Nebraska, that stand out most.

An avid Volunteer Frank was the President of his youngest child’s PTA throughout her elementary years in England and Nebraska. Around 1972 Frank was instrumental in raising funds and building a Recreational Center for handicap and elderly while stationed in Upper Heyford, Gloustershire, England. In his later years Frank found joy as a dedicated mentored and tutor to Omaha youth.

Francis DeElward Barbour has often said, his most significant achievement to date is “my marriage to Diane E Brigham, Class of 1955. Without that event, there is a great possibility that none of the above would have ever been achieved. We were blessed to see four of our five wonderful children, Kevan, Donna, Kathy and Teresa grow into happy healthy Adults.” When it’s all said and done, Frank was truly grateful for every and anything done for him.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents Osborne DeElward and Frances Elizabeth (Williams) Barbour, his brother Lawrence Barbour, his daughter, Veniace Barbour, his brother Dennis Barbour, his sister Endia Weekley, SIL’s & BIL’s, Mary (Brigham) & Harvey Williams, Harrison Brigham Jr, Sandra Barbour, Daughter-in-law Colleen (Cavanaugh)Barbour, Son-in-law Dana Sterling Getman,
Grandchildren, Jillian Ball & Edan Roberts.

He is survived by the wife of over 68 years Diane (Brigham) Barbour, His Children Kevan Dennis Barbour, Donna Marie (Todd) Ball, Kathy Lynn (Jeff) Roberts, Teresa Renea Getman. Grandchildren Nicole (Carrington)Cusick, Duane (Monica) Cunningham Jr, Jessica (David)Tumusiime, Danielle (Robert) Babbitt, Jay Kasper, Veniace Elizabeth Cunningham, Alexis Elizabeth Ball, Noah Barbour Roberts.Great Grandchildren, David, Jonathan, Lillian and Abigail Tumusiime, Quincy & Devaney Cusick, Kambri & Nova Babbitt, Tiffany Cunningham, Juliette Claybourne.

Visitation for Francis will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024 at St. Basil Catholic Church, 513 Monroe Blvd, South Haven, Michigan 49090 from 3 p.m. until the time of the Funeral Mass at 4 p.m. Fr. Richard Altine will officiate. Military Honors will be accorded to Francis at the conclusion of the Mass. Please join the family following the service for a repass at the South Haven Yacht Club, 401 Williams St. South Haven, Michigan 49090.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to St. Basil Church Endowment Fund or the South Haven Knights of Columbus. To view Francis’s personal website please visit: www.starksfamilyfh.com Arrangements have been entrusted to Filbrandt Chapel- Starks Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Services. 269-637-0333

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