Old Town -
Earl E. Barker, 88, died peacefully August 22, 2016 with his beloved wife and family by his side. He was born August 10, 1928 in Poland, ME a son of Irene Verrill.
The life story of Earl, similar to the stories he told, is long and varied. After leaving school he worked as a truck driver before enlisting in the United States Air Force where he proudly served for eight years; including during the Korean War. Upon returning to Maine he owned and operated a dump truck, served as Deputy Sheriff for Oxford County for 5 years and Police Chief of Bethel for 2 years. He owned and operated Earl's Esso Station (later Barker's BP) in Bryant Pond, as well as the only car dealership and small engine sales and service business in town. He drove trucks for Neil's Bakery, and LePage/Country Kitchen.
Earl loved family gatherings, storytelling, playing with the grandchildren, and he always enjoyed a good conversation with a friend. On the weekends, Earl could be found in his garage tinkering on something or other. He enjoyed telling the family to hop in the car and take them for a drive to wherever the road led them that particular day. Earl knew every back road in Maine. Earl will also be remembered for his wheeling and dealing (he should have been the original "downeast dickerer" -- the History Channel cast it wrong) and as a result, his daughter religiously reads Uncle Henry's to this day. Earl's love of conversation and people led him to Walmart, where for the past 24 years he happily served as a sales associate.
Earl was a strong, honest, proud, hardworking man and provider to his family. Although the calendar said he was 88 and his heart had challenged him through several surgeries over the years, he worked up until last week, drove himself to a family reunion in Sebago this past weekend, and entertained his family with silly dances right up until his last day. Never once, could a complaint be heard coming from his lips.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years Ruth (Watson) Barker; 11 children: Danny Barker and his companion Tiffany Jelsma, Alan Barker, Wayne Barker and his companion Tacha Vosburgh, Pamela Barker and her companion Teddy Newell, Donald Irving and his wife Pamela, Marcia Bell and her husband Gerald II, Donna Stone and her husband Greg, Michele Lowell and her husband Chris, Rick Bragan and his companion Elaine McKee, Terry Bragan and his companion Robin Brundage, and Rhonda Barker and her husband Robert Hall; 15 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren, a brother Bob Holt, a sister Cathy Porter and her husband Jerry; several nieces and nephews, and two beloved dogs Duke and Bailey.
He was predeceased by his first wife Joyce (Turner) Barker in 1978.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cancer Care of Maine c/o EMHS Foundation PO Box 931 Bangor, ME 04402-0931 www.emhsfoundation.org
A celebration of life will take place on Friday, September 2nd at the American Legion Hall, 156 Park Street Orono Maine at 1PM.