Esther Palacios Barba

Born January 12, 1935 in Holguin, Cuba
Departed January 5, 2024 in Palm Bay, Florida

Esther Palacios Barba passed away peacefully at the age of 88 on January 5, 2024, after a short bout of pneumonia. She was born on January 12, 1935, in Holguin, Cuba to Lilia and Santiago Palacios. Esther received her teacher’s diploma as well as a Doctorate in Education from the University of Havana and went on to teach at the University of Havana High School, as well as the Model Municipal School in Cuba.
On December 28, 1957, she married the love of her life, Carlos Manual Barba, an attorney who worked with her father and brother in their Havana Law Office. In 1969, following a period of great political unrest, Esther and Carlos were able to escape the communism of Cuba and came to Florida with their young daughter, Lourdes. Like many Cuban refugees of that time, they left their country with little more than the clothes on their backs. But with hard work, dedication, and love for their new country, Esther was soon teaching again in the Brevard County School system. DeLaura Junior High School and Titusville High School were just a few of the schools she taught at over her 30-year career.
A member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic parish since 1970, Esther volunteered with the Council of Catholic Women. She served as a lector, was a Eucharistic Minister, and worked in the Ministry for the Sick. Along with her husband, brother, and father, she was a founding member of the Club Hispano Americano, the first Hispanic club in Brevard County.
After retiring from teaching, Esther was able to do a little traveling. She loved going out to lunch with friends, playing Bunco, and shopping. Her sweet personality always brought a smile to her friends’ faces and she loved listening to a good joke.
While teaching was Esther’s passion, her husband and family were the real joy in her life. She is survived by her husband, Carlos Barba; her son, Charlie Barba; her son-in-law, Brian Ridyard; two grandchildren, Kathy Ridyard and Michael Ridyard; and two nieces, Maria Geraci and Carmen Dick. She is preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Lourdes Barba Ridyard.
The family would like to thank Marta Ortega and Gladys Hernandez for their care and support during Esther’s last years.
The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Saturday, Jan 13 at 11 am.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Lourdes Barba Ridyard Scholarship fund at Our Lady of Lourdes or Melbourne Central Catholic.

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