Charles R Barker
Posted By: Pat Frette (email)
Date: 4/1/2009 at 12:32:02
Charles R. Barker, 84, formerly of Dundee, Iowa, died Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at the Boone County Hospital in Boone, Iowa.
Charles Barker was born May 24, 1924 in Manchester, Iowa, the fifth child of James D. and Ella (Gillis) Barker. He graduated from Manchester High School in 1943. Charles joined the Merchant Marines in 1944 and qualified for Government Training on Catalina Island, California. After 13 weeks of boot camp and stewards training, he spent the next ten years in the Merchant Marines, and qualified as a life-boatman as well. Charles fondly recalled sailing around the world seven times during that period and recounted many stories over the years.
On November 25, 1955, Charles was united in marriage to Darlene M. Baumgartner at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Strawberry Point, Iowa. This union was blessed with two sons, Jeffrey Charles and James Delbert Barker.
Charles and Darlene made their home in Dundee, Iowa, where they operated "Charlie's Place" and the Backbone Drive-in. In 1960, Charles was hired as assistant manager for the new Family Bowl east of Manchester. He was sent to Chicago to the Brunswick School for Pinsetters, Mechanics and Business Managers. Charles was promoted to manager for three years before the couple bought the Empire Building in Manchester.
Charles and Darlene operated the Empire Cue, Café, and Roller Rink for 21 years. Together they cherished the memories of the many young people who came skating and dancing and enjoyed watching them grow up.
In 1971, Charles and a few other men gathered at his restaurant and organized and formed the West Delaware Athletic Booster Club.
In 1988, by an act of Congress, Charles was made a veteran of the U. S. Coast Guard dating back to his wartime service in 1944 with an honorable discharge.
Charles was a 50-year member with life membership of the Manchester Masonic Lodge #165, a charter member of the Manchester Fraternal Order of Eagles, and a member of the Manchester American Legion Post #45. Charles was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Dundee.
Charles' surviving family includes his wife Darlene; two sons, Jeffrey Barker of Toledo, Iowa, and Dr. James (Julie) Barker of Boone; two grandchildren, Michael and Rachel Barker of Boone; and a brother, Richard (Marlene) Barker of Marion.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ella Barker; two sisters, Eleanor Nagel and Mildred Shellum; and two brothers, Jim and Clifford Barker.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 21, 2009 at the First Lutheran Church in Manchester by Rev. Roger McKinstry. Family will greet friends from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m., Friday, March 20 at the Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Manchester. Burial will be at the Forestville Cemetery, Dundee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. John Lutheran Church, Dundee, Iowa.
Please sign the on-line guestbook for Charles at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.
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