John Walker Barkus (1929 - 2011)

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John Walter Barkus

November 22, 1929 - June 2, 2011

SALEM - John Walter Barkus, 81, passed away Thursday, June 2, after suffering a stroke. He had lived at Regency Woodland Assisted Living for the past four years. John was born in Portland, Or., on November 22, 1929. His mother died giving birth to him, and he was adopted by Walter and Beulah Barkus of Salem. He graduated from Salem Senior High School in 1950. After graduation, he had a filbert orchard in the Buena Vista area for quite a few years.

At the age of 21, John was able to reunite with his three birth sisters. Throughout the years, John looked forward to spending time with his sisters and their families for holidays and other special occasions. Later in life, John worked many years at Skyline Ford in Salem as a shop maintenance worker. After retiring, he continued as a dealer trade driver for Skyline, making many trips until suffering a stroke in 2007. John had a strong Christian faith. He was an active member of Liberty Gardens Church in South Salem for many years where he served as an usher, and most recently, a member of Salem, Heights Church.

John never married, but was well liked, known, and respected by his longtime neighbors who would often see him faithfully tending his yard with its wide assortment of flowering shrubs and flowers or going for daily walks. His love for gardening was undoubtedly passed down from his father who was a prominent award winning gardener. John enjoyed going on scenic drives and eating out after Sunday church. He continued to look forward to these two activities after moving to Regency Woodland.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Beulah Barkus, and his adopted brother, Elmer Barkus. He is survived by his sisters, Helen Frace and Beatrice Tucci, both of Portland, Joyce Parmley of Snohomish, WA, his adopted sister Alice Diehl of Portland, and numerous nephews and nieces. A funeral service will be held 1:00 PM Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at Belcrest Memorial Park, 1295 Browning Ave. S, in Salem.

Contributions may be made to the Union Gospel Mission. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

Published in StatesmanJournal on June 5, 2011