Donald Eugene Barker, Sr., passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2020, surrounded by family. His last two years were spent fighting the tremendous difficulties of Parkinson's Disease and associated Lewy Body Dementia and the family is grateful that he is now at peace.
Don and his twin sister, Dorothy, were born Sept. 16, 1935, in Atlanta, GA, to Ella R. and John T. Barker. The family, which also included two older sisters, Christine and Mary Lou, lived in Atlanta and later moved to White Plains, NY, and Bridgeport, CT. After high school, Don enlisted in the US Navy, serving on an aircraft carrier during the Korean War. Following his service, having become very interested and skillful in audio/visual equipment and electronics of all kinds, Don was privileged to work for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, during the initial building and launching of the Saturn V rocket. During this time he became very interested in space and space travel. However, his skillset took him into the US Civil Service and he became a career civil servant, working continuously in various capacities until his retirement in 1993. It was during his early career in Huntsville that he met his first wife Carol and had four beautiful children.
The family lived in Huntsville, AL, and Biloxi, MS, until 1966 and then spent six years on Guam, returning to the mainland US to live in Napa in 1972. Don spent the next twenty-one years working for Naval Electronics, housed on Mare Island in Vallejo, including many years of technical work, several years in management, as well as comptroller and the last year in human resources. In June of 1985, some years after he and Carol went their separate ways, Don met and married Lorraine and together they had a son, born in 1987. Following his retirement in 1993, when Cameron began first grade, Don spent some of his happiest times as elementary school treasurer and getting to know parents and teachers at West Park School. During the next twenty-seven years, he was able to indulge in favorite pastimes, such as building computers, tinkering with home audio/visual equipment and pursuing the mysteries of genealogy. Don is survived by his wife Lorraine and their son Cameron (Chelsie), as well as his first four children: Sharon Martinez (Joe), Don Barker Jr, (Jeanie), Karen Barker (Paul), Mike Barker (Rachel)....nieces Bonnie, Connie and Donna and nephew Tommy....grandchildren Jenna, Mindi, Elizabeth, Donnie (Refat), Dustin (Yanne), Nick (Barbara), Elizabeth, Olivia (Calvin) and Beau....and great-grandchildren Luis, Amani, Aliyana, Axl, Ella and Charlotte. Don was pre-deceased by his parents, his three sisters, and grandson Shaun Tovar.