Retired Rector Businessman Tom Barber Dead at 84
Retired former Rector businessman Thomas Calvin “Tom” Barber died Sunday, October 29, following a bout with pnuemonia. A native of Mississippi, and a staunch Democrat, he first came to Arkansas in the 1940s when his family moved to Burdette where they farmed cotton.
After graduating high school in Burdette, Barber relocated to California where he joined two older sisters and worked at International Harvester. When his father died as the result of a car crash in 1952, he returned to Burdette to care for his mother and three younger sisters. The following year he married his high school sweetheart, Mattie Sue Young.
In the mid-1960s the family moved to Lee County, Ark., where he farmed 1,000 acres of cotton, wheat and soybeans. In 1969 he left farming and moved the family to Northeast Arkansas, settling in Rector and going into the grocery business.
Barber owned and operated T-Mart Foods, located on the corner of Main and Fourth across from the bank, for 28 years before he chose to retire, and sell-out. During his time in business he was known for quietly helping many people who were in need. He also owned an managed a number of rental properties in the city.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Irby Funeral Home of Rector, and the complete obituary may be found in that section of this website. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the Rector Helping Hands Foundation.