George Henry Barker went to be with his Lord and Savior and join his family and friends that were awaiting him there on Jan. 23, 2013.
George was born May 10, 1920, in a cabin on Main Street, in Conconnully, Wash., to George E. Barker and Iva (Segle). George was the youngest of three children.
By the time George was five years old, the family had moved to the Entiat area where his parents owned and operated a logging camp. George Sr. was the “bull of the woods” and Iva ran the camp kitchen. George’s early years were full of adventures and often included two of his best friends, Suzie, the black bear, and Teddy, the dog.
Around 1933, George and his parents moved to Oroville, Wash., where they began a dairy farm. “The Ranch” was a self-sufficient farm where the family was able to raise or grow just about everything they needed to see them through the Great Depression. When George was a boy, he had many adventures with family and friends that included long trail rides, camping, hunting and fishing throughout the north end of Okanogan County.
George attended Oroville High School, and was a member of the undefeated football team. During the war years, George worked in the ship yards in Bremerton, Wash., where he learned many valuable skills which he would later use in heavy construction throughout the Okanogan Valley and in other states.
George met the love of his life, Winnifred Haney, daughter of Frank and Grace Haney of Rae, Minn., in 1944 on April 29 at the Oroville roller skating rink. George and Winnie were married that same year on June 16. George and Winnie would have celebrated their 69th annviversary this year.
George was always up for a challenge and adventure and that same year he won “1st money” in the bronc riding competition at the Annual 4th of July Rodeo in Chesaw, Wash.
In the early years, George and Winnie lived and worked in Oroville, Wash., they were blessed with four children. During the Roosevelt New Deal Era George was a brave man who was willing to take on hard work and travel. He was a member of the Pile Drivers Union and was often called a “pile buck”. He went on to do many jobs, some of the work included: Chief Joseph Dam, Rocky Reach Dam, and the Janis bridge.
While working on the Chief Joseph Dam, George fell 60 feet into the white water. George would tell the story of how he laid in the hopsital and could hear the doctors explaining what terrible shape his body was in and predicted he would die. As he lay there near death, George and his family cried out to God and prayed for mercy and healing. George said he repented that day and promised God he would change his ways if the Good Lord would let him live. God answered their prayers, and George kept his promise; from then on he did his best to walk with Jesus.
George worked a variety of jobs. He was core driller, he worked for Valley Evaporating Company, he owned his own security company (Okanogan Security) and before retirement, worked for Zosel Mill providing security. In those years of security work, George could be found late at night patrolling the Princes' parking lot, Zosel and many other places. George enjoyed the work and always had a thermos of hot coffee and at least one dog along for the ride.
George lived a full life and never wanted to slow down. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, great- grandchildren, friends, and pets. He was known for his love of God and Country, for his can-do attitude, his passion for life, his poetry, and a never-ending willingness to begin a new adventure. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, shooting guns, and telling stories and jokes. His poetry was read on the local radio station and often in his church, the Oroville Assembly of God. He was known as the local cowboy poet and had been writing poetry for at least thirty years. George loved to have a good time with the people he loved.
George was a member of the Oroville Assembly of God Church and the National Rifle Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Neal Barker; sister, Bertha Harden; and son-in-law, Mike Carter. He is survived by his wife, Winnifred; their children, George E. Barker, Oroville, Charlotte (Gus) Markel, Omak, James (Marlene)
Barker, Oroville, and Hazel (Jason) Kurlovich, Keller; 13 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. in Oroville Assembly of God Church, 623 Central Ave., on Feb. 9, 2013. Please share your memories of George by signing his online guestbook at www.berghfuneralservice.com