May 222013

William Paul Barger, 83, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, in Holbrook. Funeral services were held May 18 at the First Baptist Church of Holbrook. Burial with military honors followed at the Holbrook Cemetery.
He was born on June 21, 1929, in Chickasha, Okla., to William Hampton Barger and Eilleene Hadetta Thomas Barger. Paul grew up on a farm there.
Later, he moved with his family to Santa Paula, Calif., and attended Santa Paula schools, graduating from Santa Paula High School in 1947 as valedictorian of his class.
During his high school days, he got his first taste of newspapering when he worked in the shop of the Santa Paula Chronicle, first as a printer’s devil, and later as a journeyman printer.
After graduating from high school, he attended the University of California. He received his Bachelor of Science de-gree in business and public administration in 1951. He remained a loyal Golden Bears fan throughout his life.
He also received a commission as a second lieutenant through the ROTC program. He then served in the Army for two years, including a tour of duty in Germany.
June, his wife, was a native of Petersburg, Va. She attended schools in that city, graduating from high school in 1948. The couple met while Paul was stationed at Ft. Lee, Va., just outside Petersburg. They were married in 1952.
After Paul completed his military service, they moved to California. Like many other couples in those days, she worked while he went to school. Paul received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Cal-Berkeley in 1954. He joined the staff of the San Juan Record at Fair Oaks, where he worked until 1957.
That spring the opportunity came along to buy the Carpenteria Herald, and the Bargers and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sny-der purchased the weekly newspaper.
Later the Snyders sold their interest to Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Lord. After Mr. Lord’s death, the owners decided to sell the Herald, and this was done in 1968.
Paul then entered the real estate field. The following year they had the opportunity to buy The Winslow Mail the Hol-brook Tribune-News and the Snowflake Herald, and so they moved to Holbrook in 1969, along with their son, Matthew, and daughter, Lorna.
Community service was very important to him, and he served for a number of years on the Holbrook Planning and Zon-ing Commission; as a member of the board of directors of the Petrified Forest Museum Association; as a life member of the Holbrook Lions Club; as a member of the First Baptist Church, where he was a deacon, taught a Sunday School class and worked in the nursery; as a member of the Arizona Baptist Children’s Services Board of Directors; and as a founding member of Bread of Life Mission in Holbrook.
Paul was named Holbrook’s 1981 Man of the Year and 1999 Humanitarian of the Year, and in 2003 he was inducted into the Arizona Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his son, Matthew (Debbie) Barger; his daughter, Lorna (Wendell Mitchell) Barger; seven grandchil-dren, Patrick Frost, Robert Sample, Christopher Barger, Jonathan Sample, Kimberly Barger, Rachel Barger and Joshua Barger; seven great-grandchildren, Asher, Aerabella, McKenzy, Hailee, Scarlett, Jonathan Jr. and Aubrey; his sister, Bernadine (Dale) McCracken; his brother, Earl (Sylvia) Barger; his close friend, Betty Heward; and five nieces and neph-ews, Carol, Theresa, John, Linda and Gary.
He was preceded in death by his father and stepmother, Bill and Winnie Barger; his mother and stepfather, Eilleene and Art Dagley; and his wife, June.
Memorial contributions may be made to Arizona Baptist Children’s Services, 1016 S. Main St., Suite A, Snowflake, Ariz. 85937.
Owens Livingston Mortuary was in charge of the arrangements.