William D. Barber passed away in Kenwood, California on February 29th, 2020 at the age of 99 years.
If you are lucky enough to have known Bill, or even only to have met him in passing, you knew a man who could light up a room with his smile or turn a lousy day around with his ever-ready kindness and wit.
Born December 7th 1920 in Spokane, Washington, an unnamed baby boy was left in the hands of the state by his parents, a married man from a prominent family, W.D. Heath, and his young paramour, Dorothy Barber, whose names he would not discover until much later in life.
Adopted by Edwin and Ada Stolp, he spent his early years on an idyllic farm in Sprague, Washington. But when the crash in grain prices came, the family was forced to look for work in Spokane. This would be the start of an itinerant way of life that saw Bill make stops all over Washington State and as far north as Bonners Ferry, Idaho, before settling down for a time in Los Angeles, where he attended Polytechnic High School and met his first wife, Doris Porter, by whom fathered his son, Philip Edwin Stolp.
Then it was off to the Army Air Corps as a B-17 radioman. He returned to civilian life in 1950 and worked for Lockheed Aerospace before trying his hand in the burgeoning fiberglass industry. But it was his love of wit, and good cheer that brought Bill and his new wife Judy to the restaurant business, where together they built several successful bars and eateries in the Santa Clara Valley.
Bill and Judy retired to South Lake Tahoe, where in his mid-sixties he took up skiing in the winter and windsurfing in the summer. He had to give up skiing when the cold got too much for Judy and they returned to Judy’s hometown of Hollister, but he kept windsurfing until well into his eighties. The Barber’s were members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Tres Pinos, and die hard boosters of the San Benito High School Balers’ football team.
Bill was preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Judy, and is survived by his son, Philip Stolp, and step-son, Dennis Hagins. He leaves behind six grand-children, and fourteen great-grandchildren.
Covid Rules will apply at funeral home.