Gilbert E. Barker

Obituary
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  • "Dear Kathy. my deepest sympathy in you loss."
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Gilbert E. Barker, 91, of Springfield, passed away Feb. 8, 2011, at the Jewish Nursing Home, Longmeadow, Mass.

He was born in Springfield, a son of the late Charles and Josephine Barker, and was a lifelong Springfield resident and graduate of Commerce High School. Gilbert was a World War II veteran, serving with the U.S. Army from 1944-1946 as a medical technician with the 284th Engineer Combat Battalion. He participated in three European campaigns. He served with the First Army Division in the taking of the Remagen Bridge in Germany. In 1958, he was appointed negotiator/appraiser for the Right of Way Division for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, a position he retired from in 1990. During this time he negotiated and appraised land for projects including interstate routes 91, 291, 391, and Route 57 and after his retirement in 1990, he was recalled to appraise properties for the Third Harbour Tunnel and Boston's Central Artery. In his retirement years, Gilbert was business manager of Kathy's Dance Dynamics of Enfield. He served on the Springfield School Committee from 1956-1960, served on the board as chairman of the Athletic Committee. He was instrumental in the planning and completion of Springfield's Duggan Junior High School and the John F. Kennedy Jr. High School. Gil was an avid sports enthusiast, he was a coach/manager of several city youth teams, including the Semi-Pro Football Atomics of West Springfield in the 1950s.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Jewish Nursing Home of Longmeadow for their care and kindness to Gilbert.

In addition to his parents, Gilbert was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Helen M. (Luce) Barker who died in 2009. He is survived by his son, Richard E. Barker, and his wife, Carol, of Springfield; his daughter, Kathleen J. Connaughton of Enfield; three sisters, Roberta Brown of Cottonwood, Ariz., Margie Miller of Florida, and Elizabeth "Betty" Cardinal of Tennessee; a sister-in-law, Gloria Bailleul of West Springfield, three grandchildren, Kevin Barker, and his wife, Mary, and their children, Jennifer, Jason, and Joseph, and their extended family of Agawam, Ronald "Danny" Clark, and his wife, Leslie, and Michael Connaughton, all of Enfield; four great-great-grandchildren, Austin, Taylor, Adrianna, and Kylah Clark. He is also survived by his good friend, Nancy Calvi of Enfield.

Visiting hours for Gilbert are Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sampson's Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield.

His funeral is Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Sampson's Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home to be followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1023 Parker St., Springfield, concluding with Rites of Committal with military honors at St. Mary's Cemetery, Westfield, Mass.

For those who prefer contributions in Gilbert's memory may be sent to the , 264 Cottage St., Springfield, MA 01104-3274.

Published in Journal Inquirer from Feb. 10 to Feb. 14, 2011
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