AUBURN, Ala. — Ron Barr, 76, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at Bethany House in Auburn, Ala.
He was born on March 21, 1937, in Georgetown, Ill., to Chesla and Ruth Barr.
He was the youngest of six siblings, the brother of five sisters. He attended Eastern Illinois University and served for six years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Ron moved to Hawaii in the early 1960s to begin a long career in the hospitality industry. He joined Sheraton Hotels at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki as a night desk clerk and eventually rose to general manager of the Sheraton Maui. He left Sheraton to join a local Hawaiian hotel group, Island Holidays, as general manager of the Royal Lahaina Hotel in Maui. After Island Holidays was purchased by Amfac, which owned hotels on the mainland, he was transferred to San Francisco where he was named president of Fred Harvey Hotels. Ron was later named group chairman for all of Amfac’s hotels, resorts and national parks operations. He retired from Amfac in 1986 and moved to Auburn, Ala.
While living in Auburn, he was extensively involved in Auburn sports programs as a fan and financial supporter. He held season tickets for football, basketball and baseball, and hosted many trips for students to SEC basketball tournaments. He was a member and officer of the Tip Off Club.
Ron was a faithful member of the Auburn Church of Christ and a great support to students in the Auburn Christian Student Center. He served on the board of the Auburn Christian Foundation. He was affectionately known as the “Candy Man” by the students for his supplying them candy bars during final exams for over 20 years. He was still involved in this activity a week before his death. This humble servant of God will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Chesla Barr; his sisters, Nita Boardman, Betty Hopkins, Mae Sewell and Fern Gudauskas.
Ron is survived by one sister, Dottie Kern, of Van, Texas; 13 nieces and nephews; 27 great-nieces and nephews, and many great-great-nieces and nephews.
Flowers will be accepted or memorial contributions to the Auburn Christian Foundation.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, Opelika, Ala. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Auburn Church of Christ. Ministers officiating are Todd Zeiler and Tom Steed.
Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory are handling the arrangements.