“When someone becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
On January 22, 2020, the Lord released Roy Barker, 84, from his long and bravely fought struggle with Alzheimer’s. Roy died peacefully with his family around him. “Tis a far, far better place I go then I have ever been and a far, far better rest than I have ever known.” (Charles Dickens)
Roy lived in the Tri-Cities for 15 years before retiring and moving to Orofino. Roy was born on August 10, 1935 to Grace and Walter Barker in the small town of Bryson City, North Carolina. He graduated from Swain County High School and shortly after was drafted into the US Army and sent to Alaska.
On April Fool’s Day, 1955 he met me at a USO dance at Fort Lewis, WA. We were married in 1956 and just recently celebrated our 63rd wedding anniversary.
Our early married life was spent in Seattle while he attended Seattle University and obtained a Mechanical Engineering degree. Roy started his career at Boeing and later moved into the nuclear field, first in Idaho Falls, Idaho and later in Richland, Washington. The highlight of his career was the three years he spent overseas as start-up engineer for the nuclear reactors being built in both South Korea and the Philippines. He especially loved the Korean people and the Korean food. The whole family was able to go with him and it was a wonderful experience.
In the late 1970’s Roy and Karen bought land in the mountains of Idaho. They visited and camped there several times a year and finally built their dream home. Roy and Karen retired early and spent the last 30 years in their beloved home.
Roy loved to fish and hunt and just be in the peace and beauty of nature.
Since moving to Orofino, Roy served 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Clearwater Propane Company from its conception until four years ago. He also served for several years on the Clearwater Planning and Zoning Commission. To those who knew him he is remembered as a man of high intelligence and quick wit.
Roy is survived by his wife, Karen Knapp Barker, and children Katherine Barker of Seattle, David Barker of Houston, and Sarah Barker and Mary Everham of Tri-cities. He has five grandchildren: Kaulin and Korey Everham of Kennewick, Daelan and Aidan Barker of Houston and Sophia Barker of Pasco, WA.
To our friends and neighbors I say “Thank you for making our lives here so happy and satisfying.”
To Roy I say, “Goodbye my Darling, until we meet again. I have always loved you and I always will.”