Citrus grower Bob Barben of Highlands County died December 29. The following announcement was made by Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA):
As most of you are probably already aware, one of our association’s founding members, Robert J. (Bob) Barben passed away on December 29 at the age of 95 after a very distinguished life and career in the Florida citrus industry.
Mr. Barben was a strong proponent of our association, and served on the board of directors for the first two years of HCCGA’s existence. Mr. Barben’s sons Bobby, John and Bill, have subsequently been leaders of our association as well.
Mr. Barben’s career in Highlands County began when he was stationed at the Avon Park bombing range as a B17 pilot and instructor from 1943-1945. He married Jane Hartt in 1945 before going to Juanita Law School in Pennsylvania. He returned to Avon Park in 1950 to work with his father-in-law and became both an industry and community leader in multiple capacities.
A memorial service for Mr. Barben will be held on Saturday, January 9, at the Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow.