Tim Barber, a Tempe police detective who died last Saturday morning, was laid to rest in Chandler this morning.
The 42-year-old died a little more than a day after he made a gutsy appearance at a very successful fund-raising barbeque at the east Valley agency's Apache subdivision.
Barber, who had waged a long and heroic fight against prostate cancer, spoke briefly at the event, thanking everyone present for thinking of his family and their needs.
Immediately afterward, family members drove the ten-year police veteran to a hospital, where his condition deteriorated rapidly and he died on Saturday morning.
"Tim was all about catching perps and fighting cancer," says his pal Dan Masters, a sergeant at Tempe PD. "He was one of those people who I never heard anything negative about, not one word. He would light up a room with his attitude and sense of humor, and he showed respect to everyone he met, from suspects to victims."
Barber worked property crimes until about a month ago, even as his physical strength waned after the long battle against an insidious foe that had resurfaced inside his body.
Sgt. Masters says that donations in excess of $60,000 have come in to help out the Barber family, especially vital because Autumn Barber is pregnant with twins and she recently lost her job (Barber also left behind a 20-year-old daughter).
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"Our entire department from top to bottom and many, many people in the community totally have bought into helping Tim and his family out, and I know he appreciated it deeply," Masters says. "He was a good man, a really good man.