Haverhill, MA — Harry J. “Joe” Barker, Jr., 78, a native and resident of the city for most of his life, died Monday morning, April 7, 2014, at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, with family members by his side.
Born in the Bradford section of Haverhill, son of the late Harry J. and Eleanor (Maguire) Barker, he was raised in Bradford and attended Sacred Hearts Grammar School and was a former member of Sacred Hearts Parish. A member of the Sacred Hearts Troop of the Lone Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America, he was a recipient of the Ad Altare Dei Medal. A graduate of Lawrence Central Catholic High School in 1954, Joe went on to receive his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1959.
From 1961 until 1982, he owned and operated Roche Pharmacy, a landmark business in the Monument Square section of Haverhill. He later was employed in quality control at Textron for twenty-five years and at Shamrock Liquors of Haverhill. He also worked at the Groton Pharmacy for several years and as an instructor in Pharmacology at Northern Essex Community College.
A member of All Saints Parish and the former Saint Joseph Parish, Joe served as a volunteer parent for Troop 27 of Lone Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also was a volunteer at the Buttonwoods Museum and served on the Board of Directors of the Haverhill Historical Society and as a volunteer counselor in the Offices of Dr. Saul Silverman, Ph.D. In his later years, he was a volunteer at Sarah’s Place in Haverhill.
An avid hiker, Joe climbed all the mountains in the Presidential Range in New Hampshire and scaled the summit of Mount Washington several times. His passion for hiking instilled a love of mountain climbing in many of his family members and friends. A longtime observer of the local weather conditions, he maintained an amateur weather station at his home and also enjoyed model building, furniture building and refinishing. He successfully remodeled a one hundred year old home that he and his wife purchased in 1977. An avid fan of all Boston sports teams, he was a longtime member of the Jackson Club of Haverhill and the Massachusetts Pharmacist Association. He also was a ten year supporter of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and enjoyed traveling with his wife across the United States and Europe.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Elaine A. (Fiset) Barker; his son, Peter A. Barker of Los Angeles, CA; three daughters and sons-in-law, Angela M. and Andrew Neilson of Sunapee, NH, Deanna E. and Daniel “Tiger” Ruth of Plaistow, NH, and Maria E. and Michael Casey of Newburyport; a sister, Mary Ellen Sullivan of Fredericksburg, VA; a brother-in-law, Frank Zwinklis of Warwick, RI; five grandchildren, Sarah Miller, Emily Ruth, Ally Ruth, Abby Casey, and Owen Casey; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by his sister, Judith (Barker) Zwinklis and his brother, Paul Barker.
ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends may call on Thursday, April 10, 2014, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill. His funeral will begin on Friday morning at 9 a.m. from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. Burial will follow in Saint Joseph Cemetery, Haverhill. The family requests that memorial donations be made to Sarah’s Place, 180 Water St., Haverhill, MA 01830, the Society of Saint Vincent DePaul All Saints Conference, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill, MA 01832, or to the charity of the donor’s choice. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit our website, www.berubecomeau.com.