Arnold Barber

Arnold E. Barber

Monday, May 8th, 1916 - Sunday, May 31st, 2020
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Arnold E. Barber, 104, of the Town of Poughkeepsie, passed away suddenly and peacefully at home on May 31, 2020, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Mechanicville, New York, the son of Vincenzo (James) and Emilia (Gaudio) Barbieri (Barber). He was a graduate of Mechanicville High School and received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1939. Shortly thereafter he was hired by IBM and worked briefly in San Francisco until he was drafted into military service.

He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in the US Army during World War II from 1941-1946, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. He was stationed in England with the Army Signal Corp attached to the RAF as well as serving in Europe and North Africa, receiving several medals of service.

Following his discharge, he was employed as an electrical engineer with IBM, settling in Poughkeepsie and working at facilities in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and East Fishkill until his retirement in 1977. He was involved in the building of the first 360 mainframe computer. While living in Poughkeepsie he met Kathryn C. Arrigo of Troy, New Yew York and they were married on November 26, 1950 at Saint Joseph's Church (Troy) and they raised 4 children together. Kathryn predeceased him on January 20, 2017.

While working for IBM he also continued his education and received a Master's Degree in Engineering from Syracuse University. Upon retiring from IBM, he returned to school to receive a NYS certification to teach and became an Instructor of Mathematics at Dutchess Community College from 1978-1983.

Arnold had a keen intellect and a great love of reading and learning throughout his life. While at IBM he played in the golf and bowling leagues and was awarded several trophies. He also loved working out of doors (which he did well into his late 90's), camping and fishing. He was an avid golfer. Most important to him , however, were the lives of his family and friends. Throughout his life he kept close ties to his friends and family back in his hometown, visiting frequently. He embodied timeless qualities that he carried throughout his life. He was honest, kind, humble, loyal, generous, dependable and trustworthy and always ready to take on and solve any problem. He gave his best determined effort to everything he did. His hugs and handshakes were strong and reassuring and his smiles were warm and sincere with a twinkle in his eyes. His life was an inspiration to many, especially in his later years. He was truly one of "the greatest generation."

He was a longtime parishioner of St. Martin de Porres Church and had helped raise donations to build the church in the early 1960's. He was also a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his sons, James Barber and wife Kathleen O'Neill of Winchester, MA; Michael Barber and his wife Debra (Zibelli) of Wappingers Falls; Joseph Barber and his wife Kimberley of Bridgewater, NJ; and his daughter Kathryn A. Barber of Poughkeepsie. Grandchildren include Gabriel, James, Christina, Robert John, Michael Patrick, Anthony and Caitline, and great granddaughters Gabriella, Natalia and Alicia. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his sister, Anna Barber DeLorenzo, and his brothers Vincent (Mason) Barber and Henry Barber.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Boys Town, PO Box 8000, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010.

Funeral arrangements will be managed by Miller Funeral Home in Poughkeepsie. Due to Covid 19, a private family visitation is scheduled for Thursday June 4, 2020 followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, Poughkeepsie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be scheduled at a future date. If you wish to send an online condolence, please do so at
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Calvary Cemetery
    62 LaGrange Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Stephanie Nellis

Posted at 10:30am
I had the privilege to meet Mr. Barber while living across the street with my in laws. When my daughter was a toddler, he always came out of his way to talk to us and to check on us, when we were outside. He shared great memories about his time in Europe knowing I was from there, with always a great wide smile in his face despite what he had to go through; that is how I will remember him always! Also, inviting us for his 100th birthday party was such an honor... We will dearly miss him but believe he is in a wonderful place beside his wife.
Of course our deepest sympathy for the one left behind and loved him so much!
Stephanie and Anna-Mae Nellis

judith harkavy

Posted at 04:46pm
I met Arnold when he took the Senior Exercise Class at Vassar Temple. I will always remember him as one of the kindest, sweetest people I ever met as well as a dedicated exerciser. He was the embodiment of what we call a "true gentleman" and we celebrated his 90th birthday after class. My condolences to his family. Judy Harkavy

Beth Arrigo

Posted at 02:34pm
I will always remember Uncle Arnold’s gentle soul, sharp mind, and impressive energy. I love you, and hope you and Aunt Kay are enjoying dancing together in heaven. 💕💕

Don Davis

Posted at 10:35am
Don Davis
I was a friend of Arnold's although we lost touch over the years. We worked together at IBM before he retired. He was a fine man, full of good will, honesty and kindness. My sympathy and condolences to his family.

Robert Nellis

Posted at 09:13am
It was an honor and a privilege to know Mr. Barber. My hope is that his family finds the peace and joy that comes from remembering such a wonderful man. Love Always, Robert & Joanne Nellis.

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