Harriet Barker

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Harriet Barker

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Harriet Barker
Harriet Barker

Harriet Barker, 94, passed away peacefully in Billings, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.

She was born on Aug. 5, 1918, in Dubuque, Iowa, the fourth child of William and Marie Sullivan. In 1937, she graduated from Our Lady of Visitation in Dubuque. Harriet married Robert Barker in San Diego on Dec. 29, 1939, where he was stationed as a seaman in the U.S. Navy. From this union, a son, James, was born.

In 1958, Robert retired from the Navy after 20 years, and the family moved to Idaho, where they purchased a Western Auto store. While working in the store, Harriet also found the time to be president of the Garden Society and county Republican chairperson. In addition, they purchased 80 acres of land and built their first house.

After her husband passed in 1976, Harriet subdivided the 80 acres and built a second house, serving as general contractor. She also kept busy with her vegetable and flower gardening, and became a recognized floral arranger, winning many awards. She was an accomplished seamstress and sewed most of her own clothes.

In 1983, she was elected president of the Idaho State Council of Catholic Women and actively worked statewide in this capacity for three years.

In 1990, Harriet moved to Billings to be near her grandchildren. She suffered a stroke in 2001 that left her partially paralyzed and unable to speak, but her spirits never faltered and she maintained her sense of humor to the end.

Harriet is survived by her sister, Amelia Tulley; her son, James (Jeanne) of Billings; five grandchildren, David, Carrie, Robert, Aimee and Stacee; and five great-grandchildren.

Cremation has taken place. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at St. Thomas Parish. Private family interment will be held later in Holy Cross Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the staff at Valley Healthcare for the help given to Harriet during the past 10 years.

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  1. We are deeply touched by your loss of Harriet. She was a great and true friend of my mother-Dorothy Ayre. Harriet and my mother came to Missoula in 1992 in time to survey our land on witch we built our new home. She took one look at our choice and said “BUY IT!” We did and are still on the property and love it. We loved Harriet for the strong and dear person she was.

    Sincerely,
    Robert and Linda Ayre

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