Joel Barbee – May 15, 1939 – March 13, 2023


A Funeral Service for Joel Barbee will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2023 at the Friends Church in Las Animas, Colorado with Pastor Diane Hutson officiating.  Interment will follow at the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery next to his mother, Harriet Elizabeth Barbee, and father, Ralph Burton Barbee.

Joel Ralph Barbee, husband, step-father, brother, and dear friend, passed away in the early morning hours on March 13, 2023 at the age of 83. He was born on May 15, 1939 in Las Animas, Colorado to Ralph B. and Harriett E. (Hartzell) Barbee.

Joel will be remembered as a quiet and gentle man who loved music and to travel the world with his wife and family. He spent part of his young adult years working for the Santa Fe Railroad and had a lifelong passion for trains. Joel volunteered in the Peace Corps from 1963 to 1965 and remained in contact with the friends he made while living in Thailand, for the rest of his life. He devoted his working life to supporting and helping people going through difficult transitions in their lives and he spent his retirement working on projects to improve his house, with family and friends.

Joel is survived by his wife of 25 years, Louise Overdeer Barbee; step-daughter, Danielle Hettema; step-son, Ben Hettema; brothers, Gene (Sue) Barbee and Ron (Sue) Barbee; step brother, Steve (Marlene) Knox. He is also survived by a large and loving family who live in California and Colorado.

Memorial contributions may be made to Bent County Historical Society in care of Horber Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, Colorado, 81054.  To leave online condolences, please visit

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