Dick Barker: May 15, 1934 – April 29, 2020



Richard (Dick) Charles Barker, died peacefully on April 29, 2020 at his home in Coupeville, Wash.

He was born in Minnea-polis, Minn. to Charles Barker and Margaret (Barker) Barker on May 15, 1934.

In 1937, his father accepted a teaching position at Washington State College (WSU), and the family relocated to Pullman, Wash., where Dick completed his education up through college — he became a lifelong Cougar!

Dick married his college sweetheart, Patricia Miller, and took his first position as a music educator in Joseph, Ore. in 1956. Over the next several years, Dick taught in Onalaska, Colville, and Klickitat, Wash., before moving his family to Bethel, Alaska in 1968.

Dick built band programs in Bethel and Tok, Alaska, where he’s still fondly remembered by his former students. Iin 2014, he was nominated by students and inducted into the Alaska School Activities Assoc. High School Hall of Fame. Bethel and rural Alaska natives held a special place in his heart as it was where he and Pat laid down roots and where all of their children finished their education.

In 1986, Dick retired from teaching in Alaska, and took a position with the Department of Defense Dependents’ Schools, or DoDDS, in Ansbach, Germany. After the death of his wife, he continued teaching band and choir in Ansbach, meeting elementary school teacher Judith (Jude) Nickle, and they married in 1992. He retired from DoDDS 1993, and continued to set up the music program on a volunteer basis in Jude’s school until her retirement in 2000, after which they moved back to the United States, settling in Coupeville.

He volunteered helping to build music programs in local schools, including Cornerstone Christian School in Lynden, Wash., and at Island Christian Academy in Langley, Wash., until shortly before his death.

Dick had a lifelong passion for family, and good conversation with friends, old and new. He loved adventure, camping, traveling, and later in life, running (he completed seven marathons); many of you may have seen him running along the highway in the Ledgewood area.

In addition to his wife, Dick is survived by his four children, Mark (Jayne) Barker, Anchorage, Alaska, Bruce (Sarah) Barker, Los Angeles, Calif., Karen (Walter) de Graaf, Eastvale, Calif., and Michelle (Stephen) Connor, Bloomington, Ind.; nine grandchildren, Ernie, Katie, Emily, Elizabeth, Hayleigh, Anna, Rachel, Harry, and Gwendolynn; and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Jim (Robin) Barker, of Fairbanks, Alaska; and sister-in-law, Doris Barker, Seattle, Wash.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Tom Barker, of Seattle.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Coupeville United Methodist Church Music Fund, designated Choir/Bells, in memory of Dick.

Celebration of Dick’s life will be held at a later date.

More in Obituaries

Daniel Arthur Renninger, II

The oldest son of Daniel and Victoria Renninger, Daniel was born Nov.… Continue reading

Helen Mae Beckman (Conway): Oct. 26, 1918 – April 13, 2020

Helen Mae Beckman (Conway) was born Oct. 26, 1918 and passed away… Continue reading

Darren Charles Henley: Dec. 19, 1989 – April 19, 2020

Darren Charles Henley, beloved fiancé, cherished son, devoted brother, loving uncle, dearly… Continue reading

Robert D’Esting Cray: December 1936 – May 2020

Robert D’Esting Cray was born in 1936 in Milwaukee, Wisc., but he… Continue reading

Joyce Elaine Beeksma: Died May 20, 2020

Joyce Elaine Beeksma, longtime Oak Harbor, Wash. resident, passed away peacefully at… Continue reading

Tina Terri Burrier: 1958 – May 16, 2020

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, Tina Terri Burrier, 62, passed away at… Continue reading

Faith L. Hansen: Feb. 16, 1922 – May 13, 2020

Faith Hansen, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother passed… Continue reading

Dick Barker: May 15, 1934 – April 29, 2020

Richard (Dick) Charles Barker, died peacefully on April 29, 2020 at his… Continue reading

Don Louis King: July 73, 1926 – April 27, 2020

For a Loving Grandfather Don Louis King, of Oak Harbor, Wash., passed… Continue reading

Most Read