WATERTOWN, NY — Mark W. Barker, Jr., 93, of 149 E. Division Street, passed away on Thursday morning, Sept. 1, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.
Mark was the first-born child to Mark W. Barker Sr. and Mary R. (Fisk) Barker on April 11, 1929. He resided for many years at the extended family’s residence at 1106 Coffeen Street and was a communicate of Trinity Church for a number of years.
Growing up in “The Flats” area of Watertown, Mark attended Boon Street School and later Watertown High School on Sterling Street where he was in the National Honor Society.
While many of his peers were obtaining their driver’s license, Mark was interested in aviation and began flight lessons as a sophomore in high school, successfully completing a solo flight to earn his pilot’s license and enlisted into the United States Air Force in its first year as a separate branch of the Armed Forces upon his graduation in 1947.
During his enlistment, Mark graduated from Air Force Communications school, Scott Air Base, Illinois and served in the Aleutians Islands in the Northern Pacific as a radio and teletype operator. He later was stationed at Griffiss Air Force base in Rome, NY, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sgt. in 1950 at Westover AF Base, Massachusetts with a Good Conduct Medal.
In 1950, Mark started a 44-year career at the New York Air Brake. In 1964, as the International Association of Machinists Union’s local vice president, he was part of the union negotiating team that worked to secure a new contract. He later served as secretary and treasurer of the union for many years before retiring in 1994 while working in Quality Assurance.
On Feb. 8, 1964, Mark married Beverly E. Cranker at Trinity Church and the two shortly afterward made their home at 149 E. Division Street where they started their family.
Mark enjoyed reading, particularly history and politics; the company of his extended family including 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; Hershey Special Dark chocolate bars and of course his wife’s baking and Christmas cookies.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Beverly Barker at Sunset Nursing Home, Boonville, N.Y.; four sons and two daughters: April L. Barker, Watertown, NY; Scott W. (Shelly Buerger) Barker, Prospect, KY; Cheryle A. (Matt) Gillan, Bolivar, MO; Steven C. (Kim Hynes) Barker, Evans Mills, NY; Jeffrey A. Barker, Sackets Harbor, NY; and James P. Barker.
Mark was predeceased by his younger brother, Robert M. Barker, in 1990 and a granddaughter, Alexis Nicole Barker, in 1997 shortly after birth.
There will be no funeral or calling hours as Mark wished to be cremated. The family will hold a private celebration of life.
In lieu of a ceremony or flowers, please consider donations to Hospice of Jefferson County.
Online condolences can be made at www.reedbenoit.com