The Barber Family

Meet the Barber family! Jacob and Katie Barber have been married 10 years, and they are proud parents of four children: Brooke (7), Ryan (5), Matthew (3), and Lily (1). Jacob grew up in Oakdale, CA, while Katie is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. 

For multiple reasons, the couple chose to put down their roots in Modesto and the Central Valley. First, the Barbers love people and family-focused living, and the valley is full of families with strong family values. “We love being central to everything in California,” Jacob says. “We moved to Modesto to be close to my office and the hospitals for work.” They love traveling and being outdoors. Katie is an avid runner. She loves exercising, cooking, and traveling, and Jacob’s hobbies include rock climbing, biking, and camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stanislaus County has some hidden secrets like the Virginia Trail, Dry Creek Trail, Knight's Ferry hiking and river rafting, excellent golf courses, and so much more.

Beyond the adventure, the Barbers are dedicated to bringing healing to the Central Valley. “After losing our son, Ryan, at birth, Katie and I have been blessed by the community of people that supported us and got us through our most difficult time.” Now, they are finding ways to give back. 

Jacob began his dental career in Modesto in July of 2014. After completing his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, he knew he wanted to come back to serve the Central Valley and provide the highest quality oral surgery care in the area. As a partner at Greater Modesto Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center, he specializes in wisdom-tooth extractions, dental implants, bone grafting, and reconstruction. Each spring, the office goes to Dr. McCulla's office in Turlock for “Dentistry from the Heart” Day. Dr. McCulla provides general dentistry and oral surgery services to people free of charge, offering high-quality care to those less fortunate.

Katie’s passion is the Modesto Children’s Museum, a not-for-profit organization, which she started three years ago. Her vision is to create a world-class children's museum in our backyard to serve all children in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, and surrounding counties. As the President of the Board and one of six original founding board members, she has combined her leadership skills with her passion for helping children. Their vision is to become a beacon of curiosity, adventure, and child-centered learning in the Central Valley. Katie's dream of bringing a children's museum to Modesto will become a reality when it opens to the public in summer 2023. 

The Barber family focuses on giving back to the community, specifically through ways that focus on children. The couple organized and fundraised over $300,000 to rebuild and renovate the last remaining public pool at Graceada Park in Modesto. They partnered with local individuals and companies, like Rob Burkett of Burkett’s Pool Plastering in Ripon, and officially reopened the pool and adjacent splash pad in June 2018. 

Every summer, the Barber family and hundreds of others enjoy swimming in the pool and attending concerts in the park. You can bring a blanket, food, and drinks on Thursday evenings and enjoy live music with friends.  

They have also made it a priority to support as many local nonprofits as possible, such as Sierra Vista Child and Family Services; Community Hospice Fantasy of Trees, which supports pediatric programs and hospice; Jessica's House in Turlock, which provides support for grieving families; and the Modesto Children's Museum Capital Campaign.

In their free time, the Barber family loves enjoying the fun activities around Ripon. A favorite day with the kids includes climbing at the Alpine Climbing Gym, pizza at Pizza Plus, and ice cream at the Ice Cream Emporium on Main Street. Date nights for the couple center around downtown Modesto, featuring Concetta for dinner followed by a show at the Gallo Center for the Arts or an old movie at the State Theatre. They also love keeping it local in Ripon at Fina for dinner, followed by wine at the Vine House.

The kids stay as active as their parents. The children love skiing at Dodge Ridge and Kirkwood, riding their bikes, and playing with friends. Brooke has enjoyed gymnastics, singing classes, piano, and swim team, while little brother Matthew loves the Alpine Climbing Gym. Lily, their youngest, seems to love finding trouble as she never stops exploring. 
To anyone new to the Central Valley, the Barbers emphasize how vital it is to make friends and establish a sense of community. “Reach out to your neighbors and join community groups. For new moms, MOPS is great. Katie enjoyed meeting new people.” They suggest starting a tradition like a neighborhood block party every Fourth of July. The Barbers have been hosting one for five years now, and it is one of their favorite activities. “If you have a new baby on the way,” they say, “enter them into the Diaper Derby at the Almond Blossom Festival in Ripon (last weekend in February). It’s the cutest event of the year!”