Charles Barker Sr.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Charles David Barker Sr., 84, of Fort Myers, Fla., died in his home due to long-term health problems on Feb. 12, 2014.
A graveside service for Charlie will be 12:30 p.m. today at Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park, 12777 State Road 82, Fort Myers, Fla., 33913. This will be followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church with a small reception to follow.
Charlie was born on July 26, 1929, in Lumberton, N.C., to the late Nellie and Charlie Barker. He grew up on a tobacco farm where he and his brother, Tom Barker, worked picking tobacco, cotton and other plants. Charlie, known as David while he was growing up, loved to play sports and excelled at basketball. He left the farm to go to Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. However, due to the Korean War, Charlie enlisted in the Air Force just prior to graduation.
He spent the next 21 years in the Air Force, completing his college degree and becoming an officer. As a navigator, he flew in many different types of planes, including fighter jets and the SR-71. He met his wife while in the Air Force and they had one son and one daughter. He and his family proceeded to live in over 20 different places, including Spain. He did a year tour in the Vietnam War and earned a Bronze Star for his bravery. After 21 years, Charlie retired from the Air Force at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After retirement, Charlie and his family settled in Kernersville, N.C. He continued his adventures, trying several other types of careers. He owned a hardware store in Jamestown, N.C., followed by several other jobs involving accounting. Just prior to his second retirement, he was in commercial real estate. In 1997, he and Jane moved to Fort Myers, Fla. to be closer to his children.
While in Fort Myers he became a very active member of Cypress Lake United Methodist Church. He enjoyed his grandchildren and was very active in his community.
Charlie is survived by his son, C. David Barker Jr.; his wife, Mary Barker; his daughter, Sue LeBlanc and her husband Bob LeBlanc; his grandchildren, Sara Barker, Lindy LeBlanc and Sean LeBlanc; his brother, Tom Barker and his wife Christine Barker; and his nephew, William Barker and his family.
He was predeceased by his wife, Jane Barker, who died January 2012.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Hope Hospice, Heavenly Helpers and the staff at Emeritus at the Lakes for their care and compassion.
Donations may be made in Charlie's name to Cypress Lake United Methodist Church, 8570 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, Fla., 33919