Slocan Forest Products founder dies at 89

Ike Barber, who founded Slocan Forest Products, and built it into one of North America's leading lumber producers, has died at 89.

Slocan Forest Products founder Ike Barber has died at 89.

Ike Barber, who founded Slocan Forest Products, and built it into one of North America’s leading lumber producers, has died at 89.

Barber passed away Friday at home after a long illness, the University of BC said today in a news release.

Barber spent 18 years with MacMillan Bloedel, and later joined Triangle Pacific, which operated in the Slocan Valley.

As vice-president and CEO of Triangle Pacific, he teamed up with co-worker Ron Price in 1978 to buy the sawmill at Slocan and form Slocan Forest Products.

The company later acquired sawmills and other facilities throughout BC.

Barber retired as chairman in 2002, and the following year Canfor bought Slocan Forest Products. The Slocan sawmill was subsequently purchased by a local concern that rebranded it Springer Creek Forest Products. It has been idle for the last year.

In his retirement, Barber was one of BC’s leading philanthropists, endowing the University of BC, where he graduated from the forestry program in 1950.

He donated $20 million to the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in 2006, and $10 million to establish the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Interface Program at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

UBC bestowed him with an honorary degree in 2002, and the following year he received the Order of BC.

Barber spent five years with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

He is survived by his wife Jean, whom he married in 1943, and three children.

A memorial is planned for June.




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