Harry O. Barker, Jr., born July 13, 1927, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, to Harry O. Sr. and Myra Harrington Barker, died June 11, 2018. He graduated from Auburn (Massachusetts) High School and The Ohio State University. He served in the Naval Reserves during World War II and the Army during in Korean Conflict. On June 20, 1953, he married Pauline Whitehead, who preceded him in death on October 12, 2017.
Harry led a full life and was beloved by many. His legacy continues through the three children he and Polly raised: Margaret (husband Gregory) of West Lafayette, Indiana; Michael (wife Patricia) of River Vale, New Jersey; and Thomas (wife Judy) of Cherry Valley, Illinois. He had 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Harry started his career as an industrial engineer at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York. After a short stint at American Cyanamid in Danbury, Connecticut, he began a long tenure at Becton-Dickinson. His projects in the International Division took him to facilities throughout the Americas and Europe.
Harry pursued many passions, but his greatest was aviation. For the first part of his life he built models - some which flew and others for display - and amassed a collection of aviation literature and images. Finally in his fifties he obtained his pilot’s license. He restored his own planes and would spent many days at the local airport. He was a member of the local Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) where he served as the chapter historian, editor of the newsletter and received the chapter’s first life membership. He participated in fly-ins and attended the annual EAA national fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. When not flying his own plane, he gathered with fellow pilots at the local airport.
Harry’s other interests included woodworking and singing. He built furniture and later began making picture frames and trophies. His custom-built frames came in all shapes and sizes. He received great enjoyment from singing. His tenor voice was a staple in the church at St. David’s Episcopal Church, where he was a member for close to 50 years. He also participated in the New Harmony Singers and acted in many stage productions.
Harry enjoyed gathering with his family and friends. He was known for his wit and puns. With a smile in his eyes, he found a way to make everyone groan and smile. Harry’s children inherited the ability to twist words into puns, which is a real tribute to him. He also enjoyed working with the developmentally disabled at Willing Hands.
A service to celebrate Harry’s life will be held on June 30 at 1:00 PM at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 91 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, New Jersey. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in honor of Harry be sent to St. David’s Episcopal Church, 91 Kinnelon Road, Kinnelon, New Jersey 07405.