Walter C. Barber Jr.

Walter C. Barber Jr., 82, of Oak Brook, passed away peacefully Jan. 30, 2024, surrounded by close family.

He was born in 1941 in Manhattan in New York City. "Lucky" was known for his intelligence, kind personality and zest for life. He had a quick wit, infinite patience and enjoyed sharing stories about his life's many adventures.

His wife, Onny, stood proudly by his side throughout their journey together. Walt and Onny met in Bandung, Indonesia, and married there in 1972. Onny was a young widow of four boys that Walter promptly adopted and raised as his own. In 1974, they had their youngest son together in Falls Church, Va. Thus began a worldwide family adventure that brought them to many cities and countries throughout the years.

Walter was an exceptional student and attended Briarcliff High School. He furthered his education at Syracuse University (bachelor's, magna cum laude) and Catholic University (master's in civil engineering). He had a thirst for knowledge and was always eager to learn. He was a dedicated member of the crew team at Syracuse and later continued his passion through coaching.

Walter was employed by the EPA from 1974-82, culminating as the acting EPA Administrator in 1981. He then furthered his career in many executive level civil engineering roles around the globe, including posts at Jacobs Engineering, Waste Management, Groundwater Technologies and Fluor Daniel. He retired after returning to a role at Jacobs Engineering.

Walter will be remembered for his generosity, kindness, patience, dry sense of humor and love for his family. He leaves behind a legacy of cherished memories and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Walter is survived by his wife, Onny H. Barber, nee Winata; his five sons, Iwan (Intan), Budhy, Bakty (Tamazeen), Hari (Rika) and Robert (Lara); his grandchildren, Indy, Brant Danray, Roely, Kristian, Tessa, Davian, Vija, Raffi, Lilia, Jenna and Adrian; and his great-grandchildren, Bryson, Savannah, Luke, Liam, Wyatt, Kaleigh, Emmeline and Oliver.

A private ceremony will be held to honor Walter's life.

All are invited to celebrate his life by keeping his family in thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Brian Powell Funeral Directors of Hinsdale handled the arrangements.