Jean Frances Barker
Feb 29, 1932 – Sep 16, 2014
Jean Frances Barker, known for her warm and easy manner and for her grace and the ability to put others at ease, died Sept. 16, 2014, in Seattle, where she had lived for nearly 20 years. She was 82.
She was a leap year baby, born Feb. 29, 1932, at Walla Walla, Wash., to Ralph and Frances Whitemarsh, and spent most of her youth in Pasco, Wash. She was graduated from Pasco High School and attended Kinman Business School in Spokane.
She married Charles Barker in 1952. They had been high school classmates and had known each other since grade school. They had been married 61 years when he died in November of 2013.
They lived in Pasco, Walla Walla and Spokane before moving to Seattle.
Jean worked outside the home all of her adult life, taking pride in her career, and was still employed when she passed away. She was a skilled manager and businesswoman and worked in insurance, real estate and other fields, inevitably taking a key role in the business.
She managed a large real estate brokerage in Spokane and later a shopping mall. She and Charles owned the Pub Tavern in the Spokane Valley and later sold real estate as a team.
In 1997 they moved to Seattle where the two co-managed the Lake Court Apartments on Lake Washington, she handling the administrative duties and he the maintenance. As they had all of their marriage, the two brought unique individual characteristics to the job, but the whole exceeded the sum of the parts and their partnership helped draw together and nurture the community of people who lived there. And they felt nurtured by the experience themselves.
She is survived by three sons, Doug (Kathy) of Olympia; Cam (Teresa) of Keller, Texas; and Jeff of Bremerton; seven grandchildren, Sean, Quinn, Megan, Alyssa, Claire, Ryan and Kylie; four great grandchildren, Patrick, Milo, Caden and Fable; and her brother, Bruce Whitemarsh of Pasco.
Her sister Elizabeth died before her.
A funeral service is planned for 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, at Fauntleroy Church in West Seattle.
Her ashes will be placed with those of Charles at Tahoma National Cemetery.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.