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Frederick (Fred) H. Barker, 66, passed away Monday, June 17, 2013, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

He was born January 25, 1947 to Weldon and Lois Barker of Mount Ayr, Iowa. He graduated from Mount Ayr in 1966. After high school Fred attended Des Moines Vocational School, learning machinist program. Fred found that sitting and watching machines work was not for him. He began working as a telephone installer for Western Electric in 1968.

While installing equipment for Western Electric in Grand Island, Nebraska, Fred met JoAnn Kloppenborg. They married April 18, 1970 in O’Neil, Nebraska. They moved to Omaha and settled down while Fred installed telephone equipment in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. His job was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah and then back to Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1976 Fred hired on with Hobart Sales and Service in Omaha and was transferred to Lincoln, Nebraska to do ‘service and repair’ work on food processing equipment. His friendly personality and great work ethics allowed him to build a great customer rapport. He enjoyed the customer relations part of the job and considered everyone a friend. It didn’t matter where Fred and his family traveled, Worlds of Fun, Washington, D.C. or any other place, he always saw someone he knew from home.

Fred and JoAnn had two daughters, Patricia Lea and Christina Lynne. Fred loved his girls and was very active in their upbringing. He coached their softball teams and worked with both on their numerous 4-H projects. The whole family enjoyed square dancing for many years.

During weekend visits to the Barker family farm Fred enjoyed assisting his dad with projects around the farm. He enjoyed giving his children, nieces and nephews rides on the John Deere tractor.

Fred retired in 2011 and shortly after that he and JoAnn moved to the Barker family farm at Mount Ayr where Fred proceeded to build his and JoAnn’s ‘dream home’ on the site of the old farm house. Fred always enjoyed working with wood. He took time to teach his daughters and granddaughter the skills of woodworking. He taught them to strive for perfection. One of his biggest joys was seeing a beautifully finished wood project.

Fred is preceded in death by his parents, his sister and two brothers-in-law. 

He is survived by his wife, JoAnn; daughter, Tricia Simonsen, husband Todd and granddaughter Ashley Suzanne Barker-Chandler of York, Nebraska; daughter, Christina Barker of Lincoln, Nebraska; his sister, Marilyn Sue Eichenberger and husband Dale of Robins, Iowa, and numerous nieces, nephews and loved ones.

Services were conducted at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Friday, June 21, 2013, with Rev. Mike Maddy officiating. Vocalist was Grace Warin.

Casket bearers included Jim Kloppenborg, Tod Miller, Ronnie Bomer, Keith West, Kent Fox and Adam Machacek.

Honorary pallbearers were David Hightshoe, Jeff Kloppenborg, Trent Morrow, Steve Swank, Russ LaBar and Terry Weir.

Burial was in the Benton Cemetery in  Benton, Iowa.

Memorials are to the Ringgold County Ambulance Service.


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