A celebration of life for former Gophers running back Marion Barber III, who died earlier this month, will be held Wednesday at Huntington Bank Stadium. The public is welcome.
Gate E (southwest side of the stadium) will open to attendees at 11:15 a.m., and the service will start at noon. It is expected to last 90 minutes.
The Barber family also has started a scholarship fund in the honor of Marion III at the University of Minnesota's College of Education in Human Development. Memorial contributions can be made to the Marion S. Barber III Scholarship, and the fund will provide scholarships for CEHD undergraduates with financial need. Preference will be given to students who support the University's mission of creating a diverse and inclusive student body, including those with underrepresented identities or who have overcome obstacles and challenges to achieve their educational goals.
People can support the scholarship by sending a check to the UM Foundation, P.O. Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266, or giving online
Barber, 38, was found dead in his Frisco, Texas, apartment on June 1 after police were called on a welfare check. A cause of death has not been released, and a full autopsy was not performed, as per Barber's wishes, his family told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Barber, who played at Wayzata High School, was part of a family of Gophers standouts that includes his father, Marion, a star running back from 1977 to '80; Dom, a defensive back from 2004 to '07; and Thomas, a linebacker from 2016 to '19 who now is a graduate assistant for the Gophers.
Barber ranks fifth all-time in rushing in Gophers history with 3,276 yards and second with 35 rushing touchdowns. He twice surpassed 1,000 yards in a season — amassing 1,269 in 2004 and 1,196 in 2003. A fourth-round NFL draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, Barber was known for his hard-hitting style as a runner. He rushed for 4,780 yards and 53 touchdowns in his NFL career, including 4,358 yards and 47 TDs with the Cowboys. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 for the Cowboys when he rushed for a career-best 975 yards with 10 TDs and caught 44 passes for 282 yards and two TDs. He retired following the 2011 season in which he rushed for 422 yards and six TDs with the Chicago Bears.