The Washington Times-Herald

August 29, 2013

Service behind the scenes

The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Bob Barron doesn’t like to take credit for all he’s done in the last 76 years. “Rex Myers did a book a few years ago. You can look at it. I’ll warn you though, it’s kind of scary,” Barron said, with a big grin. “I’ll go get it for you.”

And so, upon first glance of the binder filled with everything anyone would ever want to know about him, it was decided that Barron is incredibly humble for man who is or has been involved in so much in a community that he didn’t grow up in.

He’s been involved in 4-H for many years as both a leader and a volunteer.

“It has been a pleasure over the past 30 plus years to work with Bob in the Daviess Co. 4-H program,” said Jane Ann Beard, 4-H youth development extension educator. “He’s never one to want the spotlight or to be recognized out front, but always the one working the hardest behind the scenes.”

Barron, who raises sheep, considers helping local 4-H’ers as something that started as a hobby prior to his retirement. “I used to work the sheep show and the Indiana State Fair too” he said pointing at the State Fair local on his shirt. “I’ve got so many of these, I may never wear them out,” he added with a chuckle.

“His volunteer emphasis of course, is the sheep project, but Bob’s first interest and dedication is to the youth involved,” said Beard. “This honor is well-deserved for him.”

Barron, who studied agriculture at Purdue, credits his farm and 4-H background for helping him get his first job at REMC in Whitley Co. “4-H teaches you so much. The skills you learn last a life time.”

He also measures precipitation in Daviess Co. for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.

It was REMC that brought Barron to Daviess Co. in 1967 and he retired from the cooperative in 2000.

He is also a member of Rotary International, a organization that helps to improve communities.

“I have been the Rotary Club of Washington’s Secretary/ Treasurer for two years and have gotten to know Bob over the last year, “ said Washington Carnegie Public Library Director Teresa Heidenreich. “Bob exemplifies Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self.” He gives so much to the club through his enthusiasm, endless volunteerism, fellowship, and encouragement.”

And he volunteers, “ just a couple times a year at Feed My Sheep and a few other places,” Barron said. He has also served on the Southern Indiana Development Commission and has received recognition for his services from Junior Achievement, Aid Association for Lutherans, service appreciation at his church; Good Shepherd Lutheran.

He even recently helped with the installation of the new Memorial Bell Tower at Good Shepherd. The bell tower was placed to honor the 50th anniversary of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

“Bob is an outstanding Lutheran man. He is always there to help and has been very involved with Thrivent Financial for Christians where he serves as president of the Hoosier Forest Chapter of the organization, “ said Rev. George Qualley. “He is always there when there is need. And he is the reason I keep my sermons short,” added Qualley with a chuckle. “He is just an outstanding person and he does so much for the community that he does not want to take credit for.”

Another thing Barron does is visit his wife’s mother in the nursing home several days a week. “My wife passed away a year ago and I go about every other day to visit, Barbara’s mom. She will be 98 on Sept. 12.”

There are many things not mentioned that Barron does behind the scenes, just the way he likes to do things. “When I first came to town, I went out to the fair to see some of the kids from the church show their animals,” said Qualley. “I was walking around looking for where I needed to be when a man asked me if I needed some help. I told him Bob Barron told me the kids were to be showing animals around here somewhere. The man paused and he told me Bob did so much behind the scenes that people never heard about or never realized had been done not only with 4-H but within the community. That man was right.”