William Keith “Bill” Barker was born on November 15, 1926, to Florence and George Barker.
He was the second son for this young British couple who had immigrated to the Spy Hill District and had taken up farming four miles east of Spy Hill.
Bill had a typical upbringing for the times. He helped on the farm, attended the nearest country school of Bavelaw, and participated in local sporting, church, and community events.
In 1946 at the age of twenty years Bill took over the farming operation when his parents moved to town.
He married a local girl, Dorothy Dodd, in November 1947 and the couple prospered and raised two children; Ken born in 1953 and Don in 1957.
Farming was hard work and often required ingenuity and extra skill and for this Bill had a keen interest. He had taken college level classes for electrical and plumbing and was a proficient self-taught welder. His abilities kept the equipment in the field and the home fires burning.
Bill and Dorothy always operated a mixed farm but expanded their cattle into a purebred Charolais herd in the ‘70s. It was a busy time in their lives, promoting and showing their cattle and even winning some awards.
Bill and Dorothy downsized their farming commitments and semi-retired in 1982. They built a new home and moved to town.
They enjoyed many years of socializing with neighbors, hobbies of fishing and gardening and meeting new friends on their many bus trips.
Bill passed away on July 21, 2023, at the age of 96 years. He was predeceased by his wife of 70 years, Dorothy, in July of 2018. Very recently he lost his older brother Jack who passed away on July 2, his wife Irene passed in 2019. Earlier in his family life Bill had lost a younger sister Helen in 1942.
The family would like to thank the staff and nurses at the Esterhazy Centennial Care Home for the expert care Bill received in his declining years.
He leaves to mourn, his family Ken (Sharon), Don (Mary); grandchildren Jaime (Brent), Brett (Bronte), Corbin (Brooke), Carly (Dylan); great-grandchildren Bailey and Paige Clark and Drew Barker.
The funeral service was held on Friday, July 28, 2023 at the Spy Hill Community Hall with Jean Istace officiating. Interment followed at the Spy Hill Cemetery, Spy Hill.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Spy Hill Cemetery Fund.
Friends may visit www.braendlebrucefs.ca to leave a message of condolence for the family.
Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service, Russell in care of arrangements (204) 773-2747.
Concerned residents filled the gym at the Oxbow Memorial Hall on Nov. 20, anxious to hear the fate of local healthcare in their community. With freque...