on June 11, 2013 - 6:05 PM
Oct. 24, 1921 – June 7, 2013
Curtis T. Barber, of Amherst, a World War II veteran, active volunteer and official of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 91.
Mr. Barber retired in 1986 after working in the public transportation field for 38 years, first with the International Railway Co. and later with the NFTA.
When he retired, Mr. Barber was the NFTA’s vice president for transportation, in charge of the operations of all Metro Bus routes in Erie and Niagara counties.
Born in Silver Creek, he was raised in Fredonia, where he attended grade school and middle school. After attending Wheaton College for a brief time, his college education was interrupted by four years of service in World War II with the Army Air Forces.
During the war, he served in the Southwest Pacific Theater, in the headquarters squadron of Bomber Command of the Fifth Air Force. He saw extensive combat in New Guinea and the Philippines, and served as a crew chief and flight engineer on B-25 bombers.
After the war, he completed his education at Syracuse University, where he graduated from the School of Business Administration in 1948. He then began his career in public transportation.
Mr. Barber was well-known for his commitment as a volunteer with several area organizations. He was a docent at the Buffalo Zoo, a tour leader at Tifft Farm Nature Preserve and a tour leader at the Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, where he also served on a committee that oversaw construction of a new visitors center in the 1990s.
He was also a volunteer at Amherst Meals on Wheels, a volunteer instructor with AARP’s 55 Alive Mature Driving Program and a volunteer with the state Library for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, which named him its Volunteer of the Year for 1994.
Mr. Barber was a member of Christ United Methodist Church for 58 years. He also was a member of Delta Nu Alpha transportation fraternity and was president of the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Western New York. That group named him Member of the Year in 1988.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, the former Louise Stowell; and two daughters, Kathleen, and Christine Holdsworth.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in Christ United Methodist Church, 350 Saratoga Road, Amherst.
– Dan Herbeck