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Celebration of life for Marion Barber III to be held in Minnesota

The service for Marion Barber III, a former Minnesota Gopher football standout, is scheduled for Wednesday, June 22 at 12 p.m.

MINNEAPOLIS — On Wednesday, June 22, family, friends and the community are invited to join a celebration of life for Marion Barber III in Minneapolis.

Barber III, who played football for Wayzata High School and the University of Minnesota before being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2005, died earlier this month at the age of 38.

"So many have reached out, and we are humbly overwhelmed with support from friends, family, coaches, teammates, and even those we are meeting for the first time, telling stories about MBIII," his family wrote in a statement. "We are comforted knowing how many lives he touched and how loved he was during his time here."

The celebration of life will begin at 12 p.m. at Huntington Bank Stadium, located at 420 23rd Ave. SE in Minneapolis.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Marion S. Barber III Scholarship fund at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development. According to family, the fund will provide scholarships for undergraduates with financial need and will give preference 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."

Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to the UM Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266.

RELATED: Former Gophers Ron Johnson and Ukee Dozier remember Marion Barber III | Ron Johnson Show

Barber grew up in Plymouth and was a standout running back and defensive back for Wayzata High School, culminating in a trip to the Class AAAAA state tournament in 2000. He went on to star for the Gophers, amassing 3,276 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. He's currently fifth in school history in career rushing yards.

After playing with the Cowboys for six seasons, Barber ended his career in Chicago and retired in 2011. According to reports from the Associated Press, Barber had issues with mental health after his NFL career ended.

"Marion was one of the best to ever play at Minnesota, and he is a big reason why many people are Gopher fans today," Gopher head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement following Barber's death. "The Barber family is synonymous with Gopher football and we are absolutely heartbroken for Marion Jr., Karen, Dom, Thomas and the entire family.  We will do everything we can to support the family during this difficult and tragic time."

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