Many of my childhood memories revolve around the Barker homestead out Parkman way. Home of a large family rooted in the soil of Wyoming. When George Barker was born in 1917, the land was still raw, the family young. He was the first of six sons borne by a young French emigrant, Ernestine Jaccar and sired by a young cowboy, George Colin Barker whose family homesteaded here in the late 1890’s.
George and his five brothers, Robert, Gabriel, Philip, Joseph and Eugene grew up working on the ranch, punching cows, planting crops, hunting, putting up hay, and helping neighbors. All went to a small, one room country school and each graduated from high school.
When the war came George was tied to the ranch, required to stay and provide a strong back to support the family and do for his neighbors. The other brothers went off to war, and all came home.
During the war a young nursing student from Colorado was assigned to Fort MacKenzie for psychiatric nurses training. Ruth White was a smart, vivacious woman enthusiastically giving her time to her country. While attending a dance at the Fort she met a tall, rangy, blue-eyed cowboy. He was not shy and could tell a good yarn. He captured her heart, this young sophisticated woman from the big city of Denver. And she captured his. They were soon married and settled down in Sheridan. As time passed they had two children who are here today, James and Gail Barker.
George spent his life working at Barker Brothers. He fixed machinery, built roads, and served his community on the Sheridan City Council. He was a Mason as was his grandfather.
He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He even had time for his nieces and nephews. He was the repository of many stories and he loved to tell them.
During his last days he was anxious to tell his story and paint a picture of his life. He hoped we would remember him. At the last he did not complain, he was thankful for each person who came to visit. Especially he loved to be touched at the last, a human touch. Keeping that contact with those he loved. The last touch, the last breath, his last goodbye.
Goodbye George, we loved you well.
George died Monday, February 9, 2009, in his Sheridan home.
Funeral service will be 10:00am on Thursday, February 12, 2009, from First United Methodist Church with John Elkins officiating. Interment will be in Sheridan Municipal Cemetery, Masonic Section. Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.