Carlos M. Barba

Born July 31, 1930 in Havana, Cuba
Departed April 30, 2024 in Melbourne, Florida

“I lost everything—my home, my profession, my money, and even part of my family, but it doesn’t matter, because I’ll gladly give up all that in exchange for freedom.” Carlos M. Barba

Carlos M. Barba, devoted husband, loving father, and doting abuelo, passed away peacefully on April 30th at the age of 93.
Born on July 31, 1930, in Havana, Cuba to Ana Garcia and Osvaldo Barba, Carlos’s life was filled with both triumphs and tribulations. After graduating as the valedictorian of his high school class, he pursued his passion for the law at the University of Havana. It was there that he crossed paths with fellow student Fidel Castro, igniting in Carlos a lifelong commitment to combat communism.
Following the completion of his law degree in 1955, Carlos practiced law in Cuba for a decade, a period marked with both personal joy and extreme hardship. He married the love of his life, Esther Palacios, but soon afterward, his beloved Cuba fell to Castro’s communist regime. Despite facing adversity and persecution due to his outspoken beliefs, Carlos stood firm in his convictions. As a result, he was forced into working the sugar cane fields for three long years, much of that time spent away from his family, friends, and home.

In September 1969, Carlos, Esther, and their young daughter, Lourdes, seized the opportunity to flee Cuba and make a fresh start in the United States. Settling in Melbourne, Florida, Carlos embraced the challenge of starting his life from scratch. He worked tirelessly in various jobs, from waiter to factory worker to Spanish teacher, eventually ascending to the position of assistant comptroller at F.I.T., where he devoted himself until his retirement.

Throughout his life, Carlos cherished the milestones that defined his American journey, from becoming a U.S. citizen in 1975 to graduating from the Cuban American Lawyers Program at the University of Florida. A proud member of the Rotary Club in Cuba, he remained dedicated to serving his new community in the United States. He was a member of the Eau-Gallie Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus, Florida Colombia Partners, and a past president of the Spanish American Club of Brevard County.

Those who knew Carlos will remember him for his witty sense of humor, his love of talking politics, his indomitable spirit, his staunch commitment to his beliefs, and most of all, his fierce love for his family. A devout Catholic, he and Esther prayed the rosary every day at exactly three p.m. His strong faith was a testament and an inspiration to others.

Carlos was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Osvaldo, his beautiful daughter, Lourdes Ridyard, and Esther, his wife of 66 years. He is survived by his beloved son, Charlie Barba; his two grandchildren, Kathy Ridyard and Michael Ridyard; his son-in-law, Brian Ridyard (Tiffany); and several nieces and a nephew.

The family would like to thank the staff at Victoria Landing Assisted Living and Health First Hospice for their wonderful care and support.
Family and friends may call at Brownlie Maxwell Funeral Home on Friday, May 17, from 5 to 7 pm. A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on May 18 at 1 p.m. and all who knew Carlos, Esther, and the Barba family are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Lourdes Barba Ridyard Memorial Scholarship at Melbourne Central Catholic High School:

Lourdes Barba Ridyard Memorial Scholarship

Guestbook Entry

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2 entries.
Allan Ridyard from Vero Beach wrote on May 7, 2024:
Many great times with Carlos and Esther and Charlie over the years. Sad in his passing. God Bless! Allan
Olga Seemann Schor and David Michael Schor from Palmetto Bay, Florida wrote on May 4, 2024:
Carlos was a most dedicated father and husband. He will be remembered and missed by all who knew him, especially his son Charlie. May God bless him.
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