William R. Barbour, Jr., former Revell publisher
and ECPA board president, dies
William R. Barbour, Jr., beloved family man and friend, passed away on Tuesday, September 12th at the age of 95. He was born in NYC, the son of Mary Alice and William R. Barbour, Sr. on March 2, 1922 and was raised in the Bronx. After graduating from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Bill attended Michigan State University Shortly after World War II broke out, he joined the US Army Air Corp and received flight training at Valdosta, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida. He was assigned as co-pilot of a B-17 bomber and was deployed to Britain where he flew many day and night missions over Germany.
At the end of World War II, Bill joined the Fleming H. Revell Company, a major publisher of Evangelical Christian books. After 39 years of service, he retired as President of Revell in 1983. During his publishing career, he worked with many best-selling authors, including Peter Marshall, Dale and Roy Rogers, Eddie Arnold, Chuck Colson, Marabel Morgan, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, Corrie Ten Boom and many others. He was elected President of the (ECPA) Evangelical Christian Publishers Association during his time with the Revell Company.
The Barbours lived in Bergen County, New Jersey for over 30 years and were active members of their communities and churches. In 1981, Bill and Mary acquired a unit at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida and in 1988, Shell Point became their residence. The family is grateful for the excellent care and compassion Bill received in the years he spent in this wonderful community. They were active members of the Village Church for many years.
Bill and Mary enjoyed their condo on Sanibel Island, which they shared generously with countless guests over 20 years. They also frequently traveled to visit family and friends far and wide. Bill wrote two books and co-authored a third with Mary. They had numerous adventures through international home exchanging and took advantage of local boating and fishing opportunities. On the home front, Bill was known to make a delicious shrimp gumbo, and homemade bread was his signature hospitality gift for birthdays and special occasions.
Bill leaves behind his devoted wife of nearly 66 years, Mary Munsell Barbour, his beloved brother, Hugh, and sister-in-law, Eva Barbour, and his three adult children, Bruce (Karen), Betsy, and Alan (Elizabeth). Bill was also blessed to have nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Bill will be greatly missed by all who love him, and his legacy lives on in so many ways. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a contribution to The Walter Hoving Home (WalterHovingHome.org) in Bill’s memory.