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Rachel M. Barker

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Rachel M. Barker 1923 - 2009 ARLINGTON Rachel Marion Barker, 85, a resident of Arlington, Vt., died on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009, at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington, Vt. She was born in Delhi, N.Y., April 1, 1923, daughter of Laurence Howe Barker and Marion Hinckley Barker. She was a graduate of Bennington High School, class of 1941 and received a Bachelor's degree in science from Bennington College in 1945. She was awarded a Master of Arts degree in geology in 1959 by Smith College. In 1949, she joined the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and was stationed in Washington, D.C., in the Military Geology Branch, where she prepared geologic information for the U.S. military for use in conducting the Korean War. She spent a year in Tokyo, Japan, in that Branch's Specific Studies Group 1951-52, then retuned to Washington, where she continued military geology and other geologic activities. During this latter period, she wrote, COLLECTING ROCKS, which has become one the most popular items prepared for general public use by the USGS. In January 1966, she moved to Boston to participate in studies of engineering geology, primarily at urban construction sites, and to conduct surface geology studies in Connecticut. In the mid 70's she was assigned to the USGS' National Center in Reston, Virginia, where she was engaged in administrative and programmatic oversight for studies in environmental geology. She subsequently did surface mapping in Wyoming relating to coal deposits and coal mining, before her retirement in 1985. For her work in geology during her career with the USGS, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award of the Department of the Interior in 1980. Upon returning to Vermont after retirement, she designed and managed a substantial number of additions to her home, circa 1779, in Arlington, and continued her lifetime interest in reading and in gardening. Her community activities included delivering food for the Meals on Wheels Program for many years. She served on the Visiting Nurse Association of Arlington's Board and as its Treasurer. She was a frequent international traveler, having visited her sister, the late Anne Barker, when she was stationed throughout the world with the Department of State. In more recent years she had visited Australia, making the long trip on a container ship, and had later been to the islands along the mid-Atlantic Ridge. She leaves nephews, and nieces, including James Barker, and his wife Ann, of Bennington, Michael Barker, and his wife Lynn, of Albany, N.Y., and Rebecca Kogele, and her husband, Neal, of Pensacola, Fla. At her request there will be no formal ceremonies. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Arlington Community Public Health Nursing Service in care of HANSON-WALBRIDGE FUNERAL HOME Arlington Chapel, PO Box 528 Arlington, Vermont, 05250.
Published in Bennington Banner from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2009
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