Cover photo for James Jay "Jim" Barber's Obituary
James Jay "Jim" Barber Profile Photo
1933 James 2023

James Jay "Jim" Barber

July 6, 1933 — October 13, 2023

Battle Creek and Bronson

James Jay Barber, 90, of Battle Creek, and formerly of Bronson, MI,  died peacefully on Friday, October 13, 2023, at Legacy at the Oaks in Battle Creek, Michigan after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Jim was born July 6, 1933, in Battle Creek to Robert R. and Velva V. (Kibler) Barber. He was a 1951 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School. Jim honorably served for our country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.  Jim retired in 1989 from Post Division of General Foods, where he was employed as a millwright.

Jim was united in marriage to Beverly Simpson on February 9, 1973, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Surviving is his wife, Beverly; children, Vicki (Greg) Gustin of Kalamazoo, Leslie (Robert) Stricklin of Branson, MO, stepson, Dennis (Susan) Simpson of Plymouth, MN; stepdaughter, Janine (Dave) Peters of Gaylord, MI; Grandchildren; Matthew, Jeffrey, Sarah, Laura, Nicole, Lindsey, Michala, Leigha, Tyler, Tara, Andrea, Elizabeth and Alexander ; 13 great-grandchildren and his sister, Elizabeth (Richard) Trumbull. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, two children, Greg Barber and Lynn Chockley; a brother, Donald Barber; and great-granddaughter, Isabella. 

Jim enjoyed working with his dad at Midwest aviation and obtained his pilots license at age 14. He was an Eagle Scout and became a scout master.  He was an active member of the Bronson Kiwanis for many years.   

Jim was a man that loved to work with his hands. His organized, complete workshop was envied by all.  He could repair anything and many friends and neighbors benefited from his kindness. He was an excellent woodworker and built the house he and Beverly shared on Matteson Lake.   

He enjoyed golfing, biking, traveling in their motor home and touring on their motorcycle. They enjoyed world wide travel and wintered in Weslaco, Texas.  

Jim thoroughly enjoyed Beverly’s cooking, especially pies.  He loved to teach his children and grandchildren to drive and often pulled the grand kids in a wagon behind the tractor.  Jim never met a stranger.  During the last few years, he enjoyed playing cards with Beverly and Betty. 

A special thank you to the staff at Legacy and Gentiva Hospice for their love, care and kindness.  

A graveside service will be held at Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens, 11:00 am, Saturday, October 21, 2023, 1490 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek.  

Memorial contributions can be made to Bronson Kiwanis, 520 South St, Bronson, MI  49028. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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