Retirees Association

Clyde D. Barbour, 87, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Clyde Barbour

Clyde D. Barbour, 87, beloved husband, father, brother, and grandfather, died in the comfort of his home on Oct. 17, 2023, after a long illness.

He was born in Manhattan, N.Y., in 1935 to Gertrude D. and Robert Y. Barbour.  The family lived on Staten Island, moved to California and later to Pascagoula, Miss., where his father was a naval architect with the Ingalls Shipbuilding company.  Robert died when Clyde was five years old and Gertrude, Clyde and baby Warren moved to Westchester County, N.Y., to live with relatives.  Gertrude later remarried and the family moved to Bedford, Pa.  Clyde and Warren loved to explore the wooded hills surrounding their rural home, experiences which sparked their long careers in biology.  A graduate of Kent School (1954), he attended the College of William and Mary, and graduated from Stanford University (1958).  Drafted into the Army, he served in the U. S. Army Chemical Center.  Before being discharged from the Army, he and a friend flew to Germany for a quick tour of Europe.  On a ship sailing from England to Norway, he met his future wife, Caroline (Kathie) Andler.  Clyde and Kathie were married in 1962.

Clyde earned his Ph.D. from Tulane University in 1966, becoming an ichthyologist whose research focused on the fishes of the Central Plateau of Mexico, especially the genus Chirostoma. In 2000, he was honored by the Mexican Society of Ichthyology in Mexico City for his research contributions.  He taught at the University of Utah, Mississippi State University, and Tuskegee University, and was a professor emeritus from Wright State University.  During many winters in retirement, he was a visiting scientist in the Fish Division of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.  He and Kathie moved to Hanover in 2000 to be close to family. 

Clyde was an avid reader of The New York Times, Washington Post, and many other publications. He was always up for a conversation about current events, culture, and politics, and cultivated those interests in his daughters. When they were young, he spent hours with them playing legos and board games, including the old family favorites – Uncle Wiggily, Trouble, Sorry, and Stratego. At bedtime, he would make up entertaining songs and stories of “The Little Hyena” that contained lessons like “eat your vegetables” and “don’t kick the furniture.”

He shared his scientific life at home and the family menagerie included a monitor lizard, snakes, fish, ducks, a baby squirrel, cats and dogs. His family accompanied him on a memorable trip to band birds, including the unforgettable vomiting vultures in Mississippi. Family vacations always involved getting outside to state or national parks and nature preserves.

His photography skills were top-notch, and his medium-format Hasselblad camera was a prized possession. We especially treasure the black and white photos he took on his collecting trips in rural Mexico, and in early 1960s New Orleans inside Preservation Hall and of Mardi Gras festivities.

In retirement he became a consummate baker and approached his craft with scientific precision, resulting in mouth-watering treats. His family (especially his grandchildren) looked forward to his cookies, scones and apple tarts during the holidays.

Survivors include his wife, Kathie; two daughters, Leslie Barbour of White River Junction, Vt. (Tim Fariel) and Rachel Barbour of Big Flats, N.Y. (Tom McConnell); and five grandchildren, Emily and Megan Fariel, Leo Minuskin-McConnell, and Matthew and Sarah McConnell. He is also survived by his brother Warren Brockelman (Chariya), sister Eda Rassner, and three nieces and a nephew.

The family wishes to thank Ellie’s Family Home Care, Dr. Christine Medora, Dr. Danette Flint, Lake Sunapee VNA Hospice, Dartmouth Health nurses, Dr. Matthew Wofford, and Andrew Harte, APRN, for their compassionate care.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Sunapee Region VNA-Hospice or to the Hanover Conservancy.