Clayton Everetts Barber Jr of Grand Rapids, MI, age 86, born September 9, 1936, died July 9, 2023.
Clayton grew up in Gaylord Michigan and graduated high school as salutatorian. After getting his Master’s in Physics at Michigan State, he began working for NASA’s Lewis Research Center (now John H. Glenn Research Center) and was in on the ground floor of aerospace software programming at Lear Siegler and then its successors Smiths Industries and GE Aviation. He also performed software contract work for several years at various other aerospace companies. He was software manager at Cascade Data, part owner of Computer Directions and then owner of Ada CompuTech, all in Grand Rapids. He was an avid reader (even reading an Einstein biography aloud to his young daughter) and left two libraries overflowing with books. He also was interested in his ancestry and kept many of his parents, grandparents, etc. furniture, photos, and other items.
Clayton was preceded in death by his former wife Martha Coppins Barber, his father and mother Clayton Sr and Wanda, brothers Ronald and Glenn Adale, and sisters Barbara and Darlene. He leaves his wife and friend of the past 20 years, Mary Ellen Heath Rivers Barber; children Clayton III (Wendy), Gregory (Carla), Nathan, Garrett, Julianna (Mark) Evans, and Susanne (Todd) March. He is also survived by Ila Schardt Barber McDiarmid, the mother of his children during their 20 years together, their grandchildren (Sean, Kelly, Ryan, Megan, Jillian, Andrea, Ahron, Christopher, Rebecca, Jacob, Nathan, HannahMae, Kayleigh, Makayla, Krystal, Timothy, Melody) and 7 great grandchildren; Martha’s children Kathryn and Kenneth and her grandchildren (Samuel, Andrew, Elizabeth, Erik); and Mary Ellen’s children Elizabeth (Richard) McCoy, Ann Rivers Replogle and Michael Rivers and her grandchildren (Patrick, Nicholas, Alexis, Brynn, Aiden, Marin). Also surviving are his sister Joy (Michael) Meier and brother Glen (Susan) Barber.
Visitation for Clayton will be held at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 on Friday, July 14, 2023, from 6-8 pm. Funeral service will be held at Lowell United Methodist Church, 621 E Main St, Lowell, MI 49331 on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 11:00 am with one-hour visitation before. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a public radio/TV station of your choice.
Graveside services will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Gaylord, MI on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, at 1:00 pm.