Memorial for Roy M. Barker Sr.

Go Rest High On That Mountain
A Memorial for My Dad

Roy M. Barker Sr.
July 28, 1922 - August 19, 2002

In hospital Pembroke, Ontario on Monday August 19, 2002 in his 81st year.  Roy Manuel Barker Sr. of Petawawa, beloved husband of Ruby Amanda Barker (nee Acker) Married 53 years.  Loving father of:
 Doris W. Rickard (John)
 Roy M. Barker Jr. (Shirl)
 Reigh W. Barker
 Rick W. Barker (Margaret)
Gary B. Barker (Cindy)
Karen A. Barker (Mike)
Predeceased by father Oscar Silas Barker, by mother Kathleen Cochrane and by sister Olive Skelhorn.  Also survived by 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Veteran of the Canadian Merchant Marines, 20 years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Member of the Canadian Legion for 52 years.
Family would like to thank Petra MacLellan of Community Cares Access Services Pembroke and the Pembroke General Hospital Second Floor Nursing Staff.

Eulogy by
Shirl A. Barker
August 23, 2002

There are so many stories that any one of us could stand here today and tell about Dad. I am only going to share two short stories with you right now, followed by a last wish from Dad himself.

Dad is the only person I knew or will know that truly should have had a pilot's license to drive a boat.  I clearly remember in the early 1990's when Roy and I would camp next to Mom and Dad at Grand Lake. Mom and Dad would go to do their fishing (which they dearly loved). I, on the other hand, would wait in anticipation for their return to the camp site.   You see I would watch Dad coming in, with  their boat to dock behind their trailer. The only trouble was that the closer Dad got to the shoreline the faster he would make the boat go...thus making me a tad nervous.  So there I was...I looked at the trailer... then at the boat and said to myself "This time for sure he is going to land her on the roof of the trailer." It never happened however.   I personally know for a fact that Dad was getting a fine laugh at me, but more importantly I think Dad always wanted to see if he could get that boat airborne; therefore I believe that he should have had a pilot's license... at least to be on the safe side of the law, should the boat go airborne.

Dad kept his humor to the end, of that there is no doubt.  About four weeks ago I was sitting in the living room with Dad.  Mom on the other hand was in the kitchen going about her daily chores.  All of a sudden Dad and I heard a loud bang.  I looked at Dad and he at me as both said. "Oh, no did Mom fall?" Now keep in mind if you will that Dad was failing in strength and also had his oxygen tube on, I had only one arm and hand and a cane and wasn't able to get around very well myself.  Anyway I said to Dad "I had better go check on Mom".  I shall never forget what Dad said. "OK Shirl what can either of us do? Dad then said "OK I will hold the phone and you push the numbers, when the ambulance arrives I am quite sure they will take which ever one of the three of us that they see first."  Thankfully Mom was fine and had in no way harmed herself but by this time Dad and I were laughing quite hard.  Mom upon hearing us came in to sit and to quote Mom she said "What are you fellers laughing at?" Well we told Mom and she tried to give us both a very cross look but of course she couldn't so she turned her head to the window and laughed.

Dad has left everyone here, with memories, some that we will share from time to time with each other or with friends, but then we have our very own Special memories that we will keep to ourselves only and that in itself is the most precious gift Dad gave to us all.  OUR MEMORIES ... boy what a truly wonderful Gift.
About four or five weeks ago as Dad and I were alone Dad talked to me of this day in particular.  He wasn't afraid for the end to come, but as always he was thinking of everyone else on this day.  I told Dad that I had a nice poem in my purse, and he then asked me to read it to him, which I gladly did. Then with a tear in his eye and a smile on his sweet face, he asked me if I could read it on this day to all of you.  I then and there, made a promise to Dad that I would definitely do this for him and feel honored to do so.  Dad, then said to me "I am apt to believe that they will like that".   So in fact this poem which I am about to read is not from me...only the vocals...this comes from Dad to you, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his daughters and sons-in-law and his friends.

When I am gone, release me, let me go
I have so many things to see and do
You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears:
Be happy that we had so may years
I gave to you my love...You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown
But now it's time I travel on alone
So grieve awhile for me, for grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
It's only for awhile that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see me or touch me I'll be near
And if you listen with your heart you will hear
All of my love around you soft and clear
And then when you must come this way alone
I will greet you with a smile and say "Welcome Home".

I love you Pop-a-Top

Eulogy by
 Roy M. Barker Jr.
August 23, 2001

We had a friend called Gary who had to go out and start his life on his own when he was in his late teens.  When Gary came home with us and we explained to Mom and Dad his situation, Dad said "Well young lad, we will give you something to eat and you can stay the night but I have six children to look after and you will have to leave in the morning." So Gary had supper with us that night and Mom made a bed up for him on the chesterfield.  The next morning Dad got Gary up early and Mom gave him breakfast.  Dad then took Gary outside in the driveway and had a talk with him and sent him on his way.  But I also know that before Dad sent him on his way, he gave him $50.00, which was a lot of money in those days.

Why did Dad do this? Well Dad didn't want anyone to start his walk through life as a man the way he did.  Dad didn't have the  time to enjoy his childhood, for at the early age of 14 he had to become a man.  He didn't have any money in his pocket when he started and had to work for everything he needed or wanted.

That's why Dad allowed us to enjoy our childhoods as long as we wanted.  That's why Dad had so much fun in everything he did; whether it be fishing, hunting, curling, playing cards or darts.  That's why Dad encouraged us to have fun, but also to do our best in it.  Not to always win but just to do our best...and by doing our best, it did lead to wins, championships and success.

Mom and Dad also taught us in order to enjoy the fun part of life you had to work. Dad was a hard worker who said "If the job is worth doing then it's worth doing right." That's the way Dad wanted us to tackle our tasks through life.  Never give up and you will succeed.

Dad was a man of many  things.  He loved the great outdoors.  He was a fisherman and always enjoyed sitting in the boat, dropping his hook and line over the side and relaxing to the gentle rocking of the waves.  We all like to fish some, but I see it more in my sister Karen and my brother Rick who love to get out in the boat and fish the same waters that Dad used to fish.

Dad was a hunter.  He couldn't wait to get up on Montgomery Mountain to take in the smells of the land and listen to the rustle of the leaves.  I see this in my brother Gary who talks all year about going hunting and getting up on that mountain to walk in the footsteps Dad left behind.

Dad was a traveler.  He always looked for adventure.  He loved the ships he worked so hard on.  He loved to sail the oceans and put into ports around the world.  I see that in my brother Reigh, who liked to pick up and travel to different places; not knowing which way he would choose to go, but just travel for the adventure.

Dad was a businessman, He had his own trucking business.  He could talk to doctors, lawyers, policemen and Indian Chiefs, all in the same way.  I see that in my sister Doris who with her business mind has done so well in the professional jobs that she holds.

Dad was a jack of all trades and a master of none.  He loved to build things, renovate the house, build a gazebo in the back yard or build a boat in the basement.  I believe the only reason he built boats in the basement was to piss off the CE (Construction Engineers) Carpenters.  They would come in to check the house out and there in the basement would be a boat.  They would take out their measuring tapes...measure up the boat...measure the stairs, doors and hallways and windows and say that there was no way that boat was coming out of the basement.  Monday morning they would come back to the house and there would be the boat sitting outside.  Scratching their heads they would get out their tapes and remeasure all the stairs, doors, hallways and windows.  Not finding anything out of place or a scratch on anything they would go away dumbfounded.  You see my Dad was smarter than them.  After all they were only CE carpenters and Dad was a boat builder.

I believe that maybe I have this part of Dad in me.  That's the reason every time I finish a project and say this is the last one, another one pops up. Maybe Dad is saying "There is always another project in life. When you finish one; don't stop, start another one.  Life must go on." And that's what we must do.  That's what Dad wants us to do.

I mentioned that Dad was a jack of all trades and a master of none.  Well he was a master...just like Mom.  Mom and Dad are masters of giving us life.  Of caring and loving us and masters of the way they raised us.  Mom...all six of us would like to thank you and Dad for giving us the wonderful life we have experienced and will continue to experience.

Over the past few months I had a chance to talk to most of my brothers and sisters.  Sometimes it took a little encouragement to get them to talk , but the beers were always good.  Each and everyone feels that they have the best of Dad in them.  And you do! Just like we have the best of Mom in us.

I guess I feel the most honored because my Mom and Dad named me Jr. and if the good Lord sees fit to let me live as long as he did Dad, then Dad's name will have lived for well over a hundred years.  However I will always remember that our Dad is and always will be the real Roy Manual Barker.

I would like a moment of silence for Dad

They shall not grow old, as we that are left, grow old
Age will not worry them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember him

Dad, I love you ...Go Rest High On That Mountain.


All material on this site is the copyright of and D.W. Rickard and may not copied or quoted by any means except by the written permission of the author.