Obituary for Linda Barber of Southern Pines

Linda Barber, of Southern Pines, NC passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2024, at her home. She was born Yasako Kawakami on July 1, 1958, in Okinawa, Japan to the late Robert L. Barber Sr. and Atsuko (Kitty) Barber. Linda was preceded in death by her beloved husband Mark Barber. She is survived by her daughter and best friend Tiffany.

A celebration of life service will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 3:00 PM at Culdee Presbyterian Church.  A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. 

Linda dedicated her life to her family, friends, and her faith. The center of her world was her daughter Tiffany. Linda’s relationship with her mother molded her into the mother that she was for Tiffany. She was so proud to be Tiffany’s mom and supported everything she did. They enjoyed traveling together and shared a bond that was stronger and sweeter than anything most people ever experience. She used her faith to balance nurturing, teaching, and disciplining with unconditional love. She kept this quote in her Bible as her guide, “Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God.” – Author unknown.

Linda has always been a hard worker. She began driving a school bus in high school and worked as a telephone operator at night. Upon graduation from Pinecrest High School in 1976, Linda worked full-time as a teacher assistant/bus driver while attending Sandhills Community College. She was able to transfer to Pembroke State University (now UNC-Pembroke) to complete her degree and obtain a teaching license. As a middle school language arts teacher, Linda was very active in the education field. While teaching, she continued her education earning two master’s degrees from East Carolina University, in Curriculum and Instruction and in School Administration. Linda served in administrative roles for both Moore and Cumberland County Public Schools. After retiring from public school service, Linda continued to impact the lives of young people while working at the Baptist Children’s Home at Camp Duncan. Recently, she worked as a College and Career Readiness Instructor with Sandhills Community College at the Hoke County Campus.   

“Ms. Barber” was a favorite among her students and every student was her favorite. Ms. Barber was always thinking of her students and others, constantly on the hunt for treats and goodies while shopping. She was a “teacher of the heart” to all the young people in her life. She supported their academic and athletic pursuits, encouraging and guiding them whenever they needed it. The essence of Linda was expressed by a colleague and supervisor at Sandhills who said, “We all loved Linda, she always talked about Tiffany and told us about the cruise she just took. She knew so many people and her passing will be felt in the community. What a beautiful, loving, kind woman she was!! She was amazing to know.”

Linda, or “Dinda” as she was called, took great pride in taking care of her mother, Kitty. They went on many adventures and trips to “California,” to the beach, and to countless ball games. She had a deep faith that she was not afraid to share by living a joyful life. She could be heard singing, “bringing down the house” above the crowd at football games or belting out her version of “Amazing Grace” at church. Linda would be the one you would receive a card from just when you needed that extra bit of encouragement.

Linda loved being with family and would often spearhead efforts for family events and trips. At the beach, you could always find her under an umbrella with a book or puzzle, or in the kitchen fixing everyone breakfast. Out and about, she would always have “Linda’s Stash” to share. She will be greatly missed by her daughter, Tiffany; sisters, Janet (Mac), Debra, Cindy, and Goldie (Marvin) and her brother, Robert (Stephanie), as well as by her nieces and nephews Robbie, Ryne, Kristin (Brandi), Kyler (Abbi), Layton (Mikaela), Cassady (Chris), Aemon (Maggie), Braxton, Chance (Shelby), and Roston who will miss their Aunt Linda. She loved playing Grandma to her grand-nephews and -niece, KJ, Harper, Lincoln, and Wesley.

The family appreciates the calls, notes, visits, and prayers. Memorial contributions may be sent in Linda’s memory to Camp Duncan for Girls, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, PO Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361, or your favorite charity.

Online condolences may be made at

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.    

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