James (Jack) Gordon Barker was born on March 15, 1931 at home in Inman Township, rural Henning, Minnesota. He was the only child of the late Gordon Elsworth and Eva Mae (Lyles) Barker. Jack attended school in Henning through the 8th grade. On January 23, 1952, Jack joined the Air Force and served his country in the Korean War earning the National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Jack was stationed in Sioux City, IA; Minneapolis, MN; and Honolulu, HI during his career in the Air Force. He was discharged on June 4, 1960.
Jack was united in marriage to Elaine Monica Stich on August 25, 1956. Their marriage was blessed with three children: Karen, Bruce, Carolyn, and adoptive son Brian. Elaine passed away on November 5, 2003.
Jack’s employment history started with trucking for Cargo City and Dynamic Homes in Detroit Lakes, MN. It continued to include: Restaurant management, Medallion Kitchens, and the Sheriff’s office while living in Fergus Falls, MN. Jack and Elaine then moved to Henning MN where he also owned and operated three restaurants, worked in furniture sales and was a self-employed over the road trucker.
Community involvement was important to Jack as he was a member of the Masons; Shriners; Eagles in Fergus Falls, MN; and a VFW member in Fergus Falls, MN and New York Mills, MN. He served on the church councils of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Henning, MN and the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN. Jack was also very interested in politics and was a member of the Republican Party. Above all, Jack’s main interest was visiting with the many people he came in contact with daily.
On April 5, 2020, Jack passed away peacefully at the Good Samaritan Society Home at the age of 89. The Good Samaritan Society Home staff quickly became his friends and gave him the best quality of life during his time with them. He will be dearly missed by his family and many friends.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Gordon and Eva Barker and his wife Elaine Barker.
He will be lovingly remembered by his children: daughter, Karen Shackett of Rice, MN; and her children, Michelle Harmon of Mankato, MN, Matthew Koski (Gwen Winter) of St Joseph, MN; son, Bruce (Peggy) Barker of Wheaton, MN, and their children; Brandon (Selena) Barker of Warroad, MN, Bennett (Amanda) Barker of Monticello, MN; and daughter Carolyn (Jim) Larson of Wheaton, MN; and their children; Chad (Dawn) Larson of Baxter, MN, Jeanne (Adam) Hoffman of Lewis Center, OH; and Brian Barker of St. Paul, MN; 11 great grandchildren; 1 great-great grandchild; 1 sister-in-law Joann Stich; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorials may be made to:
Good Samaritan Society - Battle Lake
105 Glenhaven Dr, Battle Lake, MN 56515
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