Dorothy Barker

Obituary of Dorothy Barker

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Dorothy Barber Barker passed away on Monday, November 14, 2022 at Watauga Medical Center after battling leukemia. She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and came to Boone to attend Appalachian State Teachers College, where she studied Reading Education and Library Science. It was there that she met her husband, Richard Barker, who was also studying to be a librarian. She had a long career as an educator, spending nearly 30 years as the librarian at Valle Crucis Elementary School, where she impacted so many young people. Years after her retirement, she was still often greeted by former students who remembered her fondly as their librarian. She was a member of the North Carolina Retired School Personnel organization, the retired division of the North Carolina Education Association, of which she was also a member while an active educator. She regularly gathered with other retired Watauga County teachers, with whom she had a close friendship. Dorothy, known to all as "Dot," loved books and reading, and encouraged others in that pursuit through both her teaching career and in her involvement with the Watauga County Public Library, where she served as both a volunteer and a board member. She was always on hand to work at the annual Book Sale sponsored by the Public Library. She also taught English as a Second Language in her spare time for several years. She followed her daughter, Sharon, and son, Brian, into volunteer work with the Watauga County Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society, where she served as co-chair of the Survivor Committee. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Boone, which she began attending as a student in the Baptist Student Union. During her long tenure as a member there, she served as a church librarian, a deacon and a long-time member of the church Bereavement Committee, as well as a member of the church handbell choir. Dot loved to travel and see new places with her husband, and later with her family and friends, traveling to many parts of the country and world. She particularly enjoyed the time she spent in England, visiting cousins, and the many Christian Tours trips she took. She was a great friend who communicated frequently within her close circle, all of whom were like family. She was a wonderful role model, exhibiting positivity and joyfulness, even in difficult circumstances which she encountered in her life. And, she always offered encouragement to others. Dot Barker is survived by her daughter, Sharon Sweeting and husband Mike, of Vilas, and her son, Brian Barker, of Boone, as well as her grandchildren: Tyler Trivette, of Vilas; Tara Concannon and husband Chris, of Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Turner Trivette, of Boone; and Megan Sweeting and son Dex, of Boone. She is also survived by her sister, Nancy Bailey and husband James, of Nokesville, Virginia, her sister-in-law Mary Barker, of Davidson, North Carolina, and nephews Scott Bailey, Steve Bailey and Mike Barker. Also surviving is a special cousin, Jean Gillgrass, of Yorkshire, England. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Richard T. Barker, her parents George Barber and Jennie Mae Barber Fortson, and her step-father Charlie Fortson. The family wishes to thank the medical and nursing staff at Watauga Medical Center for their exemplary care and compassion during several stays over the past several months. Their skill, attentiveness and kindness has been remarkable. Thanks also to the wonderful staff at Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Watauga County Public Library or First Baptist Church of Boone. A funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church of Boone on Sunday, November 20, at 1:30 p.m. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service in the church fellowship hall. Austin and Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Barker family.
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