We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Davis-Watkins - Fort Walton Beach
We regretfully announce the passing of Barbara (Catherine) Harris Engberg (73) of Navarre, Florida. Barb passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at Fort Walton Beach Hospital with her loving husband, Ron, by her side.
Barb was born to Bill and Dorothy Harris on May 21, 1949, in Springfield, MO. She was an independent and vibrant personality from the beginning. Barbara graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1967 and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in education from Missouri State in 1972, where she was also a proud member of the ROTC Rifle Team.
In 1981, Barb moved to Panama City, Florida and worked at Allied Signal, a car break manufacturing company. She then enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserves in 1985, retiring in 1995.
In January of 1989, however, her life changed forever. Barbara met the love of her life, Ron Engberg, on a blind date and they were married on September 2nd of that year. During this time they lived nearby to Hurlburt Field, an Air Force installation where Ron was stationed at the time.
In October of 1990, Ron and Barb moved to RAF Woodbridge (80 miles NE of London, England) when Ron was reassigned. While they lived there, she worked for a diabetic equipment company. Ron was then reassigned to RAF Alconbury in the south eastern part of England in 1992 and they moved once again. While there, Barb worked at a car manufacturing company making rubber seals. She was even selected to embark on a short trip to Spain on behalf of the company. She loved having the opportunity to travel all around Europe during these years.
In 1995, Ron was once again assigned to Hurlburt Field, near Mary Esther, Florida before retiring the next year. Barbara took this opportunity to put her education degree to work as she became a substitute teacher in the Santa Rosa County School District. She also joined the VFW Women’s Auxiliary. She went on to help design a custom home that she and her husband built in 1997 in Navarre, Florida. She lived in this beloved home until her passing.
Barbara had long dealt with various health issues, some more debilitating than others. These included breast cancer (’09), COPD, and many others. Despite this, she always tried to keep a positive attitude about her circumstances, and relied on the love and care of her beloved husband to help get her through each obstacle.
Loved ones and friends knew her as a kind - often sarcastic - and outgoing person. She was always willing to lend a hand where she could, share a favorite recipe, and laugh alongside a friend. She loved traveling, anything Christmas-related, cooking, antiques, garage sales, playing cards, dancing, animals of all kinds, and spending time with family and friends. Everyone that knew her saw that she loved her husband Ron most of all.
Barb is preceded in death by her grandparents, Pearl and Martha Garbee and Everett and Ruby Harris; her parents, Bill & Dorothy Harris; and her brother, Bruce Harris. She is survived by her husband, Ron Engberg (Navarre, FL); her step-son Chris (Danlynn) Engberg and their children Joseph, Caden, and Emilyn (Geneva, NE); her brother, Gordon (Nancy) Harris (Arkansas); and a large number of cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Davis Watkins Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road, N.E., Fort Walton Beach, Florida, at 11:00 A.M. The family will receive friends an hour prior beginning at 10:00 A.M. Barbara's final resting place will be at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida. Condolences can be sent to Ron Engberg, 9380 Bone Bluff Dr., Navarre, Florida 32566. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a breast cancer charity of your choice.
We miss you, Barb, and we will always love you in our hearts.