Alva Roquel Barber, 78, of Forest MS, died peacefully surrounded by family, at Baptist Hospital in Jackson on Thursday morning, January 3, 2019, after an extended illness.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Ephesus Baptist Church with Rev. Matthew White, Rev. Chris Harrison and Dr. Jim Everett officiating. Interment will follow at Ephesus Baptist Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm Friday, January 4, 2019 at the Ott & Lee Funeral Home in Forest and again at Ephesus Baptist Church 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm on Saturday.
Mr. Barber was born to A.R. and Mary Frances Gould Barber on August 5, 1940. He was the oldest of their three children. He lived almost all of his youth and adult life in Scott County. He spent four years in the Air Force. During this time, he was stationed in Kansas, Montana, Michigan and he spent 18 months on Guam guarding B-52s. Upon returning from Guam, Mr. Barber married Carol Culpepper Barber and completed his degree in science from the University of Southern Mississippi. Mr. and Mrs. Barber had 2 children, Chris and Cara. Chris is married to Katie Lauterback Barber and they have two children: Evelyn and Margaret.
In 1969, He was hired to teach junior high science and math at Scott Central and he was asked to be the public address announcer for the high school football games. He went on to announce the games from 1969-2009 while only missing five home football games in that time. Mr. Barber held many responsibilities at Scott Central during his tenure there. Throughout the next several years, he would hold the titles of senior sponsor, annual co-sponsor, bus driver and Beta sponsor. He also ran the clock for the basketball games for many years. Mr. Barber took great care to get to know his students in ways other than academics. He took great interest in the welfare of all of his students. Mr. Barber truly was an educator who cared more about the people his students grew up to be and strived to make sure each student was able to see his/her full potential. He was an active member of Ephesus Baptist Church for many years. During this time, he also served on the building committee for Ephesus Baptist Church. He was a deacon, taught various Sunday school classes, was director of sound and eventually Sunday school director.
In 1986, Mr. Barber left his teaching responsibilities to spend more time with his family. During his time away, Mr. Barber sold insurance, worked on his master’s degree at USM and taught science at Choctaw Central. He also formed the Ringgold Sandlot Baseball Team and eventually went on to coach his son’s summer league baseball teams. One year he served as league commission for Gaddis Park.
He continued to be The Voice of the Rebels until 2009. Mr. Barber returned home, to Scott Central, in 1995. During this time, he taught the upper levels science courses, some exceptional education classes, drove a school bus, resumed his position of running the clock for the basketball games, and he often drove the band bus or hauled the large instruments to the away games. He also kept the books and compiled the stat sheets for the baseball team for several years while his son and many of our current Scott Central coaches, teachers and parents played. In November of 1997, Mr. Barber had quadruple bypass surgery. This caused him to miss most of our post season play that year. His surgery took place early on a Friday morning. His first question upon awaking in recovery was “Did we win,” but the game had not even started. When he woke up later, his wife informed him that we did in fact win that night. The Rebels went on to play in memorial stadium in December. Many people did not know it, but Mr. Barber was in the stadium that day, as far as he could get, to watch his rebels play for a championship. That was the kind of teacher he was. He pushed himself for his students, and he expected the best from them. In 1999, our rebels won the 1A championship and Mr. Barber was instrumental in fundraising for and presenting championship rings and pendants to the players, cheerleaders, coaches, and coaches’ wives. Several of those players will be serving as pallbearers. Although Mr. Barber retired from teaching in 2003, he remained The Voice of the Rebels through the 2009 football season. It was with a heavy heart that he said his signature opening line for the last time, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to L.E. Gomillion Sr. football field at Scott Central, Mississippi. It’s a beautiful night for football...”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to either the sound and technology fund of Ephesus Baptist Church 3535 Ephesus Rd Forest MS 39074 or the Scott Central Touchdown Club 2415 Old Jackson Rd Forest MS 39074.
Funeral services provided by Ott & Lee Funeral Home of Forest.
Telephone: (601) 469-3412.