February 1, 2024
Don Barker, beloved husband and best friend of Susan for more than 65 years, passed away on Jan 27, 2024 at the age of 90. He died from having too many birthdays.
He was born in Lovell, Wyoming on July 7, 1933 to Leland and LaVaughn Barker. His family moved to Victor, Idaho when he was in second grade. Don graduated from Teton Valley High School in 1951.
From a young age he was known to be a hard worker. He learned to out-work anyone at full speed. He milked cows, bucked spuds, irrigated, baled hay, and learned how to fix and build anything. He could make something out of nothing.
Don enlisted in the Army in 1953. He was stationed in Japan during the Korean Conflict. He was a cook on the Army base and provided delicious comfort food to homesick soldiers.
Upon his return from the Army, Don was employed with Mountain Bell for 19 years. He then began his own business, Don's Independent Contractor. For seven years he maintained housing and properties for FMC. He was employed in building maintenance for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until he retired at age 65. When he was 70, he "unretired" and began working for LOC Electric until final retirement at age 80.
On a December night in 1957, Don met Susan Miller in Green River. That night they "dragged main" with friends in Susan's '48 Pontiac. She had a fun time with Don. When she dropped him off on Railroad Avenue and saw his '55 red and white Chevy convertible, their love story began! That night ended in a snowball fight! Don's idea of flirting was washing her face with snow. During their engagement they enjoyed laughing and jitterbugging. They were married November 1, 1958 at the home of Susan's parents, Bill and Bernice Miller. On June 10, 1978 their marriage was sealed in the Ogden, Utah temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. From this union came Bonnie, Alison and Jana.
He was the only guy in a house full of girls and he loved it. He was proud of his girls and was supportive of everything they did. He loved listening to them sing. He loved the family in which he was raised, and Susan's family became his own. His sons-in-law became his sons. He was a fun-loving grandpa and a tease. All children were drawn to him. He had genuine compassion and concern toward his grandchildren. Don was a devoted son and son-in-law. His sense of humor is one of his many talents that is treasured by his family.
A most meaningful chapter in his life was when, at age 67, he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with his wife. They served for 18 months in Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois. He made the best bricks and horseshoes for visitors, then at the end of the day he and Susan sang and danced on stage. He and Susan were honored to portray Joseph and Emma Smith.
Don absolutely loved fishing at Flaming Gorge and Soda Lake. He ice fished, shore fished and cooked fish. He taught his son-in-law, and grandsons how to fish and they were "hooked."
In 1996 Don and Susan bought his mother's home in Victor, Idaho. He and Susan cherished their summers in Victor. Every few weeks they would return to Green River to enjoy their family, large garden and raspberries. He continually worked on improving the Victor house until 2020, when it was sold due to his failing health.
Public and volunteer service includes the Green River Fire Department, Lions Club, Jaycees and Green River Planning and Zoning. He served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bishoprics, as Elder's Quorum President, High Council, Single Adult Leader, Stake Missionary and sang bass in the church choir.
He had a welcoming smile and a firm hand shake. He made you feel like his special friend and was a strong force in many lives.
Don Barker is preceded in death by his parents, mother and father in-law, brother Ray Barker, sister Neta Hansen and grandson, Jaxon Owens.
He is survived by his true love, Susan Barker; daughters Bonnie Arnold and her husband David, of Green River, Wyoming, Alison Barker and her husband, Frank Bennett of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Jana Owens and her husband, Chuck, of Green River, Wyoming; grandchildren Joe Arnold, Daniel Penner, Andy Arnold, Sam Simpson (Daniella), Rachel Arnold Brown (Rich), Rodney Don Owens, Jake Arnold, Drew Simpson, Isaac, Janie and Will Owens; great-grandchildren Ben, Amanda and Evelyn Brown, Aiden Shaw; his brother Clifford Barker of St. Anthony, Idaho; sisters in-law Anna Hill, Meridee Mowrey and Nancy Barker; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 3, 2024 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1000 W 4th N in Green River. A viewing be held one hour prior to services at the church.
Military honors and interment will take place in the Riverview Cemetery.
Condolences can be left at http://www.foxfh.com.