The Obit For David Barrows

David W. Barrows
February 16, 2010

CAMANCHE, Iowa — A memorial service for David Warren Barrows, 78, will be 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at Camanche Chapel Snell-Zornig Funeral Home. He died Feb. 11, 2010, in Tyler, Texas.
He was born Oct. 28, 1931, in Clinton, Iowa, to Orville and Norma (Faur) Barrows.

After graduation from Clinton High School, he was signed by the St. Louis Browns baseball club. He pitched for three seasons, an injury to his arm ending a promising career.

He then was employed by Alcoa in Riverdale, Iowa, where he was elected first vice president of the Aluminum Workers International Union Local 105 and later became an international representative for the Aluminum Workers International Union.

He and his family formed Barrows Camp-O-Rama in Camanche, Iowa, which became one of the largest RV dealers in the state. In 1965 they began manufacturing pickup covers with plants in Camanche, Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Mifflintown, Pennsylvania. This business also prospered, and in 1975 Barrows Enterprises began to produce van conversions and became a pioneer in the industry with plants in Iowa, Texas and Pennsylvania.

In 1980, Barrows Enterprises acquired Armbruster Stageway in Fort Smith, Ark., the largest manufacturer of limousines in the world. The entire company was sold in 1985 to Northeast Ohio Axle.

David was active in community affairs, having served on the Camanche City Council, the Lay Board at Mount St. Claire College and the CIRRUS Board at Iowa State University. He was a member of Camanche Masonic Lodge #60 and the International Game Fish Association, and he actively supported the Nature Conservancy.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and upon retirement pursued his fishing hobby. He moved to Belize, Central America, and spent many years catching fish and “telling lies.” When he was not fishing, was holding court on the porch and telling stories. He participated in many fishing tournaments, winning some, and was instrumental in developing a catch and release program that is still being followed in Belize today.

Ill health forced him to leave his beloved Belize. He then moved to Sarasota, Fla., and became a “gardener.” When this grew old, he moved to Texas and became a cattle rancher, still holding court and telling stories. His stories will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Barrows of Flint, Texas; a son, Joel (Karen) Barrows of Bettendorf, Iowa; a daughter, Debra (Bill) Vilmont of Camanche, Iowa, a cherished granddaughter, Elise Caroline Barrows, and a beloved grandson, Maxwell David Barrows.

He is also survived by a brother, Ross Barrows of Ft. Smith, Ark., who also was his longtime business partner and friend; sisters, Barbara Barrows of Camanche and Gloria Mangler of Clinton, and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and many, many friends. He is also survived by his first wife, Juleen Nixon Barrows, of Camanche, Iowa.

Memorials may be made to a favorite charity.