SEVIERVILLE — David Barber celebrates a rich 100 years of life filled with love for family, friends, his country and his University of Tennessee Volunteers.
Barber turns 100 on Saturday, Oct. 16, and the Brookdale Assisted Living resident, a World War II veteran of the U.S. Marines, is celebrating with family and friends at the Sevierville Church of Christ at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17.
Barber has been active well into his later years, volunteering at LeConte Medical Center until he was 98.
“I used to always enjoy helping people. I thought it was very important,” Barber said.
He also volunteered with the Red Cross, was a teacher, coach and principal. He went on to work at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office briefly upon retiring from education and moving to Sevier County.
His daughter, Charlotte Comstock, described his positive influence.
“He’s the most positive person I have ever been around,” Comstock said. “His goal is to teach somebody else about Christ and get them into heaven.”
Barber is originally from Knoxville, having played high school against Central High School in the 1930s on Shields-Watkins football field, what would become Neyland Stadium. It was the only stadium big enough to hold the crowds for the games against Central.
He met his late wife Phyllis Barber while in the Marines, where she also served.
After service, the couple both attended the University of Tennessee, where he played football. Barber even knew General Neyland, who he often saw on campus.
Barber’s father was part of a team Barber McMurry, which designed many of the structures on campus.
A successful high school football coach, he rarely missed a UT football game, whatever the sport may be.