In Memory

Daniel Peter Barber - Class Of 1972


Daniel Peter Barber

Oct. 18, 1953 - July 11, 2019

BUCHANAN, MI - Our beloved Danny was born on October 18, 1953 to Andrew (Andy) and Elizabeth (Betty) Barber, in the small mid-central Indiana town of Clinton, IN. He was the fourth of six children. His first five years of life were spent in Clinton with his three older sisters who cherished their Danny Boy. In 1959, the family moved to South Bend, IN where his father had secured employment with the Bendix Corporation. In South Bend, two more siblings, both brothers, were born to the Barber family.

Danny's father was also a local trumpet player, and quite accomplished. At 10 years old Danny began to be instructed, by Dad, about the beauty of the brass trumpet instrument and the playing and reading of music. Danny became a member of his Christ the King Catholic Grade School band and continued his trumpet mastery. In 1968, he started his high school years at South Bend Clay High School where nothing less than 1st chair in the school band was an option. His talent expanded into the love of jazz and writing music. His first professional band performance was at age 16 with the local Eddie Knight Band. In the meantime, “Dad” decided to start a family band. The Sounds of Brass was born featuring Dad, Danny, and his three sisters who performed on guitar, bass, and percussion. It was a BLAST!!!

Between being a boy and becoming a man, Danny also had a talent for mechanical aptitude. He was a “fixer.” He could totally rebuild a car engine. Danny graduated from high school in 1972 and shortly thereafter, decided to enlist in the United States Army. He served with honors in the prestigious Army jazz ensemble, The Jazz Ambassadors, until 1976. Immediately after discharge, he was hired by the Tommy Dorsey Band and later recruited by the Maynard Ferguson Band. Danny toured and recorded with Maynard Ferguson from 1977 to 1979. Danny continued his career as a premier jazz trumpet professional and has performed throughout the United States and abroad, most recently with the Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra based in Kalamazoo, MI. He has performed with many world class bands, musicians, and iconic celebrities. Danny is also revered as an impeccable and artistic studio musician.

In the mid-1980's Danny became a family man with his marriage to Benita (Phillips) Barber, an accomplished violinist. Their marriage was blessed with three children, Jessica (deceased 1990), Willa Lynn (deceased 2005), and Jesse Daniel who survives with his wife, Kristy Barber and Amelia Lynn, Danny's granddaughter.

On December 28, 2006 in South Bend, IN, Danny and Kathleen (Sweeney) Barber, his high school sweetheart, were married. He is survived by his loving Kathleen.

Many family parties dotted the years, especially at Christmas. Danny had his recipes ready and we all shared laughter, music, and good times. The last gathering was in 2017 at his home in Michigan.

May you rest in peace among all the stars in the heavens beloved Danny Boy. You are now among your loved ones and the great jazz cats that have preceded you.

Danny is also survived and cherished by his 5 siblings, Terry Susan Helvey (Donald R. Helvey, dec.), Sally Ann Barber (Lee Madison), Jenny Lee Yuhasz (David Yuhasz, dec.), Larry Barber, and Paul Barber (Peggy Barber), and many nieces and nephews.

Parents Andrew Allen Barber and Elizabeth (Betty) Lee Barber preceded him in 2000.

A special thank you to the Hanson Hospice House of Stevensville, Michigan for caring and comforting Danny during his final journey.

Visitation and Services will be held on Monday, July 15 in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home North, 17033 Cleveland Rd., South Bend, IN 46635 where visitation will be from 11:00am-1:00pm and the service at 1:00pm. A graveside tribute will immediately follow the service at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, 375 W Cleveland Rd., Mishawaka, IN 46545.

Memorial contributions in Danny's name may be made to Hanson Hospice House, 4382 S. Cleveland Ave., Stevensville, MI 49127. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

07/14/2019 JFC