Former County Commissioner Barber dies at 57

Published 6:47 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY – William “Jon” Sherrill Barber III, a two-term former Rowan County commissioner, died Friday.

According to Summersett Funeral Home, which is handling funeral services for the Barber family, Barber passed away at approximately 7 p.m. Friday evening at his residence.

As of 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the cause of death was still not released.

Barber served on the Rowan County Board of Commissioners from 2006-2014.

County Commissioner Craig Pierce said that, during the time he served with Barber on the board from 2012 to 2014, he could tell that Barber was a “very nice individual.”

“Jon and I did not always agree as to the direction we should be taking the county, but as a person, he was a very nice individual,” Pierce said. “And I know that when we were just speaking together as individuals, we always got along fine.”

Pierce also said that Barber was “well-respected” by the Rowan County Republican Party.

“He did a few things that not everybody thought was a good move, but we all have our problems,” Pierce said.

During Barber’s tenure on the board, Barber pleaded guilty to two DWI charges – one in 2009 and one in 2011. He also pleaded “no contest” to a charge that he used $800 worth of paper and ink to make copies of personal documents on the board’s copy machine.

In a statement read at the copy machine trial, Barber said that, as a county commissioner, he had “strived to serve and represent all of Rowan County.”

The statement continued, “I have been a champion of no-kill shelters, food advocacy, improving the health and nutrition of all Rowan County citizens, providing prescription and dental discounts to citizens in Rowan County who are without health insurance or low income and have advocated for nutritional meals in our public schools.”

Jim Sides, who served with Barber from 2006-2008 and from 2010-2014, said that Barber had “good intentions in a lot of the things that he did.”

“I certainly think he had some problems, but he had a good heart and I liked him,” Sides said.

Barber, 57, is survived by his father, Bill Barber; his brother, J.D. Barber, his sister-in-law, Tonya; his sister, Sherry “Jody” Misenheimer, his brother-in-law, Billy; and his nephew, Chris Rogers.

Barber was a member of First United Methodist Church.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.