Walter Barbe

Obituary of Walter Burke Barbe

Walter B. Barbe Walter Burke Barbe was born on October 30, 1926, in Miami, Florida to Victor and Edith Barbe, and died at home in Honesdale on October 15, 2020, a few weeks short of his 94th birthday. He completed school in Miami and served in the U.S. Army during World War II, work ing at a hospital in Texas; afterward he attended Northwestern University for a bachelor's degree in 1949, a master's the following year, and a PhD in 1953. From there he went on to a distinguished career in higher education, specializing in reading and education of the gifted, with professorships at Baylor University, the University of Chattanooga, and Kent State University, before moving to Honesdale in 1964 to become Editor of Highlights for Children. During the Highlights years he maintained a substantial academic presence as a guest lec turer all around the country and as an adjunct professor at institutions like the Uni ver sity of Pittsburgh and the Ohio State University. In 1972, when Highlights acquired the vener a ble Zaner-Bloser Company, publisher of handwriting textbooks, he became its edi tor and built it up to a national leader in textbooks for the language arts. He published a number of books under his own name, including literature textbooks for schools, hand books for teachers, collections of essays on educational topics, and the pioneering Psycho lo gy and Education of the Gifted of 1965. After retiring in 1992, Walter turned his energy toward the pursuit of local history and philanthropy, much of it revolving around the interrelated subjects of the glass industry, the Delaware and Hudson Canal, and White Mills. He was instrumental in the establish ment of the Dorflinger Glass Museum and the Dorflinger Factory Museum, and in the restoration of the White Mills locktender's house. With his collaborator Kurt Reed he published the History of Wayne County, Pennsylvania (1798–1998) in 1998 and The Glass Industry in Wayne County, Pennsylvania in 2003. He was presented with the Rich ard L. Kreitner Award for Community Service by the Wayne County Historical Society in 2016. While in Chattanooga, he adopted his son Frederick Barbe, and shortly after arriving in Honesdale, needing advice on Fred's college choices, he consulted Marilyn Wood at Honesdale High School; they married on February 7, 1967 and moved to Atco, where they lived for almost fifty years, returning to Honesdale in 2014. Fred died in 2014, and Marilyn survives him. Walter Barbe leaves a great many friends in this community and in the wider communi ties of education and publishing. And it is fair to say that no one who knew him, ever knew anyone quite like him. His combination of intellect, integrity, generosity, kindness, charm, and boundless energy does not come around often. Wayne County is an infinitely richer and stronger place Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, no services will be held presently. Arrangements are attended by the Arthur A. Bryant Funeral Home 1228 Main Street Honesdale, Pa 18431
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