Susann Helen (Whitehorn) Barkey (1937 - 2017)

Obituary
  • "To the family of Mrs. (White horn) Barkey, I am very sorry..."
  • "My heartfelt sympathies to the family during this difficult..."
    - J W
  • "My deepest condolences to the Barkey family during this..."
  • "Sorry for the departure of your beloved one .May cherishing..."
    - Judith
  • - chad Schrum

Susann Helen Barkey met her untimely death on September 25, 2017 – less than one month after her stupendous 80th birthday party. Many thanks to all that attended and for the many that wanted to. Life happens and it worked out just as it was supposed to.
Sue was born September 1, 1937 in Duluth, MN to Frank and Mildred Whitehorn. She was the youngest sibling of three, with two older brothers named Denis and Warren. Their family moved from Duluth to Seattle, WA when Sue was two years old.
Having been raised in Seattle, she met her lifetime husband, John Barkey, at the tender age of 17. They met at the local skating rink; roller skating was her passion. He was a 21-year-old navy seaman and he helped her up when her 'skirt dusted the floor' (her wording). They were engaged within six weeks and wed 3 months later - on July 16, 1955. They settled down in Seattle and began their family, also raising two older boys and the youngest daughter (Ken, Russ & Cyndi), just like her parents.
Once married Sue embarked on her second passion; her family. Her young children always kept her busy as a stay-at-home Mom in WA. Her birthday being on September 1st meant she could send the kids back to school as a gift to herself. Her employment always worked around the family's needs. In the early years, it ranged from selling Avon to making beautiful feather wreathes and trees, to her own industrial cleaning service with her buddy Madeline Combs – named CB Cleaning possibly. She was one of the mom's working the concession stand during the boy's baseball years, making the Halloween and ballet costumes, spending WA summers with the children in the camper at Lake Goodwin while John came up on weekends.
Seattle layoffs led the family to the Last Frontier in September 1971. After moving to Juneau, AK her employment again worked around the family's needs. She worked as a checker at the original IGA & Foodland as well as for the State of AK, Vital Statistics. John founded John's Custom Carpets (JCC) in 1973 and, of course, when he expanded from the downstairs of their home to a separate shop, she manned the shop. Flooring seems to be the family legacy. Sue's dad Frank had taught John the flooring profession, which he passed on to both Ken and Russ. Ken worked many years beside John and currently owns Silver Bo Stone, Russ had owned Performance Floors; the legacy continues. JCC closed in 1990, at which time John & Sue retired full-time to their second home in Quilcene, WA.
Sue & John enjoyed many 'snow-bird' years from WA to Yuma, AZ. After John's passing in 2010 Sue became a 'snow-bird' between Ken's home in Poulsbo, WA and Cyndi's home in Juneau, AK.
Sue had many joys besides her family and friends. She was known for her fun loving spirit. In her younger years she enjoyed roller skating, bowling and water-skiing at the lake & always loved dancing. More recently she and John would often be out boating or fishing in Southeast waters in their boat named the 'No Telly' – aptly named (and before cel phones) when you need escape from owning the business! Most recently she enjoyed her grandchildren, card groups in Quilcene, Poulsbo Senior Center, Yuma and her new friends at the Bridge Senior Center, where she was labeled the 'card-shark.' Her grandson John always got a "sure" and a smile when he offered her numerous cribbage games over the years. Her grandchildren were impressed with her prowess in poker. She flourished in Yuma's warmth and swam daily with the 'gals' at the local pool, which provided her a network of fun. She especially liked the channel walking at Dimond Park Aquatic Center followed by the jacuzzi. She also got excited for motorcycle rides from Ken and Cyndi's husband Guy.
Sue is preceded in death by her husband John Barkey, her son Russ Barkey, her parents Frank & Mildred Whitehorn, her brothers & sister-in-law Warren Whitehorn, Denis (Mary) Whitehorn.
She is survived by her son Ken Barkey (Cindy), Jennie Barkey (Russ' wife), Cyndi (Guy) Gleason. Grandchildren include Keith Barkey, Cori (Shawna) Barkey, Dirk & Danielle Tunison, and John & Steven Larson. Great-grandchildren include Mason Barkey, Gunnar Knutson, and Seth & Sara Manley, plus numerous loving cousins and relatives. Of special note is Lillian (Gus) Crawford, Sue's childhood buddy in Yuma, AZ who is family in our hearts.
Although her passing left a huge hole in our hearts, we find solace in knowing she didn't want long-term suffering like some family members and she's dancing in heaven with our loved ones. You will be missed but never, ever forgotten. You know how much we love you.
We thank you for your prayers and kind thought. Please join us at the Moose Lodge on Saturday, October 7th for a potluck Celebration of Life @ 4pm @ the Moose Lodge.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, 2017