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Remembering Baber

We mourn with the friends, family members and loved ones, including many in the Cumberland community, over the passing of James Pendleton “Penny” Baber.

Baber was a unique man who made the world a better place to live in for everyone, not just himself, his children and his family.

Baber, who opened his general law practice in Cumberland in 1961, died last Monday at 81-years-old after living in the county his entire life.

Baber’s impacts as a country lawyer, commonwealth’s attorney and commissioner of accounts goes far beyond the borders of Cumberland County.

Weeks ago, Baber was named the 2017 recipient of the Tradition of Excellence Award by the Virginia State Bar’s (VSB) General Practice Section.

According to a VSB press release, Baber was recognized for embodying “the high tradition of personal and professional excellence and for benefiting the community and enhancing the esteem of general practice attorneys in the state.”

Most importantly, Baber understood the importance of treating people right, whether it was a stranger on the street, one of his clients or a county official.

Katherine Moore, who worked with Baber, said he was highly respected.

“He was very knowledgeable, very well-respected amongst the other attorneys in the community,” Moore said, calling him “absolutely brilliant.”

“He was very kind to people who were less fortunate who probably had mental illness or they had maybe some mental health disabilities or they were intellectually challenged; he was very kind to them,” Moore said.

May Baber’s good deeds, actions and acts of kindness continue to inspire this community and those who knew him for decades to come.