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Thomas V. Barker


1952 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Thomas V. Barker, MD
October 9, 1952 - December 10, 2016
Resident of Aptos
Thomas V. Barker, MD, our dearest husband, father and grandfather passed away unexpectedly on December 10, 2016 while skiing near Lake Tahoe.
Tom was born in Ardmore, Oaklahoma October 9, 1952 to Bob and Lucille Barker. The family lived in Calgary, Canada, Berrington, Rhode Island and Houston, Texas where Tom graduated from high school.
Tom attended the University of Texas, Austin receiving a Bachelors of Arts, 1973 graduating Summa Cum Laude. He attended The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio graduating in 1978, top of his class. He did an Internship in General Surgery at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Oakland and completed his Residency at Stanford University Medical Center in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, 1982, American Board of Otolaryngology Certification 1982.
Tom was a private practice physician, Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgeon serving the Santa Cruz and Watsonville communities for 34 years. For the past 25 years he has been partnered with Marc Seftel, M.D. and for the past 17 years Daniel Spilman, M.D. has been a practice partner of Santa Cruz Ear, Nose and Throat Medical Group, (SCENT). Tom was Medical Director for EARGO and Founder and CEO of DeScent Technologies. He was listed in "Who's Who in America 2000" and "Best Doctors in America". He was a member and former President of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society, and former Chair of Otolaryngology Surgical Section Dominician Hospital.
Although cut short on December 10th, 2016, Tom lived a full life during his 64 years on earth. As a husband, father, grandfather, doctor, friend, adventurer and lover of chocolate, he shared many experiences with his family, playing at home and traveling the world to hike, ski, sail and scuba dive. As a doctor he was a passionate healer and a meticulous surgeon. He performed his work with the utmost care and took true joy in great patient outcomes. Tom was dedicated to his profession and cared deeply for his patients. He was passionate about medicine and felt it was his calling and purpose.
Tom cared about his community, neighborhood and neighbors. He was an active member of a neighborhood improvement organization, NOPC, and a member of the Sierra Club.
Tom's friendships were close and long lasting, many of them catalyzed by a shared love of the outdoors. With his friends and family at his side he was constantly anticipating the next adventure: backpacking, skiing, fly fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle, scuba, sailing and cycling were all in his repertoire. The outdoors brought Tom peace and joy. He delighted in the beauty of the Sierras and time around the campfire with friends and family brought him great satisfaction. In true form he occasionally performed medical procedures in the wilderness if needed, suturing a lacerated knee or drilling through a thumbnail to alleviate swelling.
Chocolate was a whole category of life for Tom. He loved trying new and unusual varieties of dark chocolate and was always willing to share his secret stash with those he loved. Music was also a treasured part of Tom's life. He played guitar and was known to serenade his grandson, Noah. He loved to sing and whistle, and sometimes played the nose flute and he was a part of a regular drum circle with friends.
Tom worked hard, enjoyed today, planned for tomorrow and he didn't wait to live his life, he seized each day and lived it to the fullest. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, patients and professional colleagues.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Lucy Barker. He is survived by his loving wife Ruth Berney Barker, children Mason, Miles, Simone, (Stephanie) Barker, grandson Noah Barker, sister Sarah Barker, brother-in- law Jerred Metz, niece and nephews Ravenna, (Muhanned) and Sufyaan Nuaimy-Barker.
We wish to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many expressions of love, care, and kindness shown to to us by our community during the days of bereavement. The memorial service was held Saturday January 7, 2017 at Seascape resort, thank you to all who attended and helped make it a true tribute to Tom's life.
Memorial gifts and donations may be made in Tom's memory to Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group www.sccbg.org/donate/, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County www.thefoodbank.com or Sierra Club California www.sierraclub.org/california/ways-give.


View the online memorial for Thomas V. Barker, MD
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel from Jan. 3 to Jan. 8, 2017
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