James “Red” Barlow, 78, passed away Friday November 29, 2019 in his sleep while at home and had been under hospice care for some time. He was proceeded by wife Lois Barlow, 1998. Survived by son Ben Barlow (wife Kelley) and their three children (Jim, Molly and Lilly) of Miami; son Joe Barlow (wife Cecilia) and their three children (Anthony, Wyatt and Sophia) of Miami; brother William Barlow (wife Alice) of Broward County and brother in law Michael Bush (wife Melanie) of Broward County.
Red was born January 27, 1941 at his family’s home in Camden, New Jersey. Having spent his youth in Camden, the family moved to Miami in 1957. He met his future wife, Lois, in 1960 and the two were married in June of 1962 and remained so for 36 years until Lois’ passing. Around this same time, Red started his lifelong career in the water and wastewater industry. He began working at Southland Utilities and soon after started with F & R Builders who became Lennar Homes. He really started making a name for himself in the industry not just in South Florida, but throughout the state of Florida. In May of 1970, he and Lois, started PELCO, the family business which he ran for the next 49 years. During his career, Red earned many awards and accolades including the American Water Works Association Lifetime Member award, President of the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association, and the David P. Lee award in 1986 from FWPCOA. His most coveted award was earning his “Silver Shovel” from the Florida Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers in 1974.
Community was a very important part of Red’s life. Both him and Lois, dedicated their time to help support, fund and run a variety of programs their sons participated in. Whether it was in Howard Palmetto Baseball, Suniland Optimist basketball, Kendall Broncos Pop Werner football or a school sport, he was there to help. One of their biggest accomplishments was the creation of the Miami Palmetto Senior High School Touchdown Club in the mid 1980’s. Together with a small group of like-minded parents, they raised enough funds to supply all new uniforms, a remodeled locker room, a state of the art training room and all new A/V equipment for game films.
A lifelong workaholic, who put in 7 days a week, Red always found time to dedicate himself to his family. One of his passions in life was taking time to travel with his family in his motorhome. He would take time every summer to travel the country from coast to coast visiting historical cities, sites and landmarks. He felt it was as important to not just read about the wonders around the United States, but to show his children and then grandchildren the places they read about in history books. Every football season, he attended all home Dolphin and Miami Hurricane footballs games, tailgating at the Orange Bowl. And almost every Thanksgiving since 1980, he would spend the holiday in Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness campground with family and lifelong friends eating our feast in the outdoors rain or shine. If there was one place on earth he could relax, it was anywhere he went in his motorhome.
If one word could be used to describe Red Barlow, the word would be Dedicated. Dedicated to his family. Dedicated to his friends. Dedicated to all his customers. And dedicated to the stranger that might have needed a little help.
The funeral will be held on Sunday December 8th, 2019 at 2:00PM at Riverside Gordon Memorial Gardens at Mount Nebo located at 5900 SW 77th Avenue, Miami Florida 33143. Immediately following the service, family and friends are welcomed to come to Walter’s Coffee Shop located at 17009 South Dixie Highway, Miami Florida 33157. We ask that in leu of flowers, please make a dedication to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at www.stjude.org or call 800-822-6344.