John Edward Barker, 81, of Independence, IA, died on Tuesday September 10, 2019 at his home in Independence, IA.
John was born March 21, 1938 in Oelwein, IA the son of Howard and Mildred (Bergom) Barker. He attended Independence schools and resided in Independence for most of his life. After graduation, he worked as a gas station operator and car repairman. He attended Hawkeye College and earned a degree in Drafting Design. On December 26, 1970 he married Joyce Lorraine Engler and had two children, Kurtis and Anita. He was employed at Bloom Inc of Independence for 7 years before he began driving semi-trucks locally. Later he became an owner operator and drove across all of the US until 2004. He was one of the few founding members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church where he was dedicated to welcoming all and serving with his well-known engineering and woodworking skills. He enjoyed volunteering his time and playing cards with family and friends. He became affiliated with the Old Mill and was a member of the Buchanan County Historical Society. He welcomed the public on tours and assisted with many events for the Mill. Many in the community knew him as the man in the hat on a scooter. He treasured that, this enabled him to be mobile and visit with all he saw along his way.
His rebellious side encouraged him to test the speed and agility of his scooter. He is well known for all his many tales on the road while driving his semi-truck with only some stories confirmed, however we have all witnessed his speed and ability on maneuvering a motorized scooter, so all the tales must be true.
John is survived by his wife of forty-eight years, Joyce Barker, Independence, IA, his son Kurtis (Melody) Barker, Independence, IA, a daughter, Anita (Justin McLeod) Barker, Independence, IA, his step-children; Linda Card, Waverly, IA, Carol (David) Kisner, Independence, IA, and Lisa (Randy) Lorenzen, Independence, IA, his grandchildren; Tony (Heather Wilson) Barker, Emily (Andy) Krempges, Shane (Rose) Peterson, Amy Kisner, Matthew Kisner, Robbie Miller, Michael Miller, Stephanie (Steve) Brewer, and Jeff (Amber) Lorenzen, his great grandchildren; Brittany, Alexander, and Hector Peterson, Miranda and Landon Brewer, and Kylie and Easton Lorenzen, a sister Betty Cole, and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Mildred Barker, and two stepsons, Robert and Ronnie Miller.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday September 16, 2019 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Independence, IA with Rev. Michael Holman officiating. Burial will be held at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be held at 2 PM until 5 PM on Sunday September 15, at the Reiff Family Center – Funeral Home in Independence, IA.