Ron Barber was born in Wakefield, England and grew up in a military family. He first came to love Tucson when his father was an airman stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the 1950s. Barber attended Tucson schools and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1963.
While still in high school, Barber met Nancy, the woman who would become his wife. Nancy and Ron went on their first date in 1960, and they’ve been together ever since. They raised their daughters, Jenny and Crissi, in Tucson. Jenny grew up to become an educator and Crissi is a nurse. Both are married and now they’re raising their children in Tucson, too. Ron and Nancy now have four grandchildren: Kieran, Tillie, Ailsa and Elliot.
While raising their children, Barber and his wife also found time to run a small Tucson business. Toy Traders/Stork’s Nest, was a place where families could trade and buy children’s toys, clothing, and equipment. There were two locations with 20 employees, giving Barber the experience of meeting payroll, keeping the doors open and providing good customer service.
In 1976, Barber began a 30-year career with the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Arizona Department of Economic Security, eventually serving