The Obit For Harry Barker

Harry G. Barker Jr.

October 11, 2011

Harry G. Barker Jr., 82, of Charles Town, died Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, at the Winchester (Va.) Medical Center. Born May 31, 1929, in Bolivar, he was the son of the late Harry G. Barker Sr. and Mary Isabella Sponsler.

Mr. Barker retired from the Jefferson County Board of Education as a teacher, coach and athletic director. While at Charles Town High School, he was a biology teacher, head baseball coach, assistant basketball coach and assistant football coach. While at Charles Town Junior High School, he was a biology and mathematics teacher, assistant principal, athletic director, head football coach, head basketball coach and track coach. In 1994, the Charles Town Junior High gymnasium was named "Barker Center" in honor of his outstanding coaching career. In addition to his teaching and coaching career, he also was employed by the Charles Town Races for many years.

Mr. Barker was a 50-year member of the Asbury United Methodist Church, where he served as usher and greeter.

He was a graduate of Harpers Ferry High School, class of 1947, and was a member of the Harpers Ferry Alumni Association. He was a graduate of Shepherd College, class of 1956, with a degree in physical education and biology. While at Shepherd College, he excelled in baseball and basketball. He was a member of the Shepherd College Alumni Association and was inducted in the Shepherd College Hall of Fame Class of 2002; member WV Coaches Association; member 40 & 8 (American Legion); member of Jefferson County Cotillion Club; and past member WVEA and NEA. He played American Legion baseball. He signed with the Philadelphia Athletics, professional minor league baseball and went to Detroit to work out with the Tigers of the American League.

After retirement, he was an avid bowler, participating in a senior league and tournaments, weekly bridge games and scoreboard keeper at Charles Town Junior High School basketball games. Foremost, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who cherished spending time with his family.

Mr. Barker served from 1950 to 1953, in the 1092nd Engineer Combat Battalion in Chonow, Korea.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Margaret A. Malone Barker, at home; daughters, Betsy Malone Barker, of Charles Town, Margaret Faith Christine, of New York City, N.Y., and Mary Barker Diehl and husband, Thomas, of Charles Town; son, Harry G. Barker III and wife, Kathy, of Charles Town; six grandchildren, Robert V. Christine Jr. and wife, Allison, Matthew H. Christine and wife, Carla, Brice M. Barker, Cameron L. Barker, Bradley B. Diehl and Caroline C. Diehl; and two great-grandchildren, Hudson J. Christine and Alejandra F. Christine.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, William Sponsler; and brother, Charles L. "Jack" Barker.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, at the Asbury United Methodist Church, 110 W. North St., Charles Town, with the Rev. Richard Kroll and the Rev. John Rudolph officiating.

Interment will be in the Edge Hill Cemetery, Charles Town.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, at Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home.

Please sign the online guestbook and view his obituary at

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Charles Town Junior High School Athletic Department, 193 High St., Charles Town, WV 25414.