Carl Barringer, a Santa Paula Rotarian for 55 years, has long been the "go-to" man in town and in the club.  If anyone wants an answer as to who, what, when or why, just ask Carl.

Carl has earned this role through many years of community activism and involvement.  As a local businessman, he's been the mayor, city councilman, chamber president, VFW post commander, Rotary Club president, chairman of the Highway 126 Improvement Committee, ad infinitum.

He's proud of his Rotary achievements, including initiating the Junior Achievement Awards way back in 1959, where Rotary annually recognizes outstanding juniors at Santa Paula High School.  During his year as club president 1960-61, the four-year Boy Scout hut project was completed in Mill Park.  Rotary's polio campaign has been very dear to Carl, his wife and one his sons having faced the challenges of polio.

Carl was born in St. Louis, Missouri but moved to Glendale at an early age.  While a student at Stanford University his studies were interrupted by duty in the Army during World War II.  He was shipped to Europe in 1944 and, as an infantry squad leader with the 104th Timberwolf Division, fought in Belgium, Holland, and the German Rhineland.  He participated in meeting the Russians above Leipzig in April 1945.  He earned three battle stars, the Bronze Star and the combat rifleman badge before being discharged at war's end and returning to Stanford to get his degree.  His wartime service found him "in the thick of things" and he has characterized his military service as indeed a life-changing experience.

At Stanford Carl met his future bride Cathy Morris and they were married in 1948.  Shortly thereafter they moved to Santa Paula and he went into the construction business.  He also became a realtor/broker and property manager.  They raised four children and have seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Cathy's community service has been every bit as extensive as Carl's.  Most notably, she is a founder and was the longtime president of Santa Clara Valley Hospice, president and board member of Interface, Children and Family Services of Ventura County, board member of the Boys and Girls Club, Grand Jury foreman, and many, many other affiliations through the years.

Among their numerous honors, Carl and Cathy were each selected as Santa Paula's Citizen-of-the-Year, he in 1981 and she in 1994, and both are Paul Harris Fellows.

A stroke over 5 years ago slowed Carl down for a while but not for long.  Most club presidents over the years have had a dose of his advice, good advice.  He not only inspires us with his invocation but with his perseverance and determination, at age 85, to get to Rotary every week and be an active voice in every facet of our club's activities.

Santa Paula is better today because of both Carl and his wife being there these many years.  We salute them and their unselfish service to others.