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Charles Ralph Barker III

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59, a resident of Framingham, MA and Key West, FL, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on Friday evening, October 26th, 2007 in Key West. Charlie and his wife have been part-time residents of Key West for the past three years. Born in Washington DC, son of Charles and Anne Barker, Charlie attended Sidwell Friends School and in 1970 received a degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professionally, Charlie was a Fellow and lead research engineer for over 20 years with Bose Corporation where he was a pioneer in high quality acoustic innovations. Charlie began his Bose career as a summer intern in 1969. From his earliest assignments, he passionately pursued taking audio to new levels.{M1} Charlie delighted in taking on challenges. An early challenge was his involvement in developing the 301 loudspeaker for which he was granted a patent - one of several Charlie received over his career at Bose. Introduced in the early 70's, the 301 loudspeaker went on to become the best selling component speaker in the world. For the past 14 years Charlie has focused on developing technology for home theater systems. His collaborative research work significantly contributed to the breakthrough 321 technology. Charlie was also captivated by the emotional impact of 3D movies and the possibility of creating a complementary 3D sound system. Most recently he led a team in the development of the 3Space 1/2 audio systems technology. The WOW factor for those who experience it was something that was very important to Charlie.{M1} In 1997 Charlie became the first Bose Fellow, a position of distinction within the company. One way to describe a Bose Fellow is a confident, self-motivated risk taker who seeks challenges, drives change and creates new experiences. These words certainly describe Charlie. Charlie was known as an innovator and a visionary leader. It is especially remarkable that many of Charlie's inspirations are reflected in the accomplishments of other engineers. Additionally, Charlie spent the last 18 months re-engineering and building a factory five racing Cobra, taking redesign of the Cobra to a new level of sophistication and engineering. He served in the Massachusetts National Guard. He is survived by his wife Lucy, daughter Kelly Barker of Harvard, MA, sisters Beth Modiano and Polly Rodriguez of Washington DC, stepchildren Diana Tapper of Rye, NY, Elana Natker of Boulder, CO, Eric Tapper of Southborough, MA and 2 grandchildren, Jonah and Hannah Gorevic of Rye, NY. An open house for friends and family will be on Sunday, November 4, 2007 from 1-4 PM at his home at 45 Gates Street, Framingham, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the "Charlie Barker Memorial Fund (CFFK)" and mailed to Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, P.O. Box 162, Key West, FL 33040.
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