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"Bill" John William Barker
July 22, 1928 ~ October 30, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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With sadness we announce the peaceful passing of John William “Bill” Barker on October 30, 2023, at the Swan Valley Lodge, at the age of 95.
Bill was born on July 22, 1928, in Kelvington, Saskatchewan, to Charles and Geraldine Barker. In 1939, Charlie and Gerry relocated their family to the homestead east of Kenville, where Bill grew up with his parents, eight siblings and great friends. Bill graduated high school from St John’s Ravenscourt Boys School in Winnipeg. As a young man Bill travelled working his way from as far east as Ontario to as far west as Victoria Island, after venturing across the country, he came back to Manitoba and was a miner in Lynn Lake and Snow Lake until 1960. On April 16, 1960, Bill married the love of his life Leila (Bateman) and settled on the farm in Pretty Valley where they lived for 50 years.
Bill spent many hours out in the corral diligently looking after the livestock come rain, shine, snow, or sleet. Each spring during calving season, he would name every calf, writing the name on the calendar that hung on the wall in the house. Even though, he had been told that he could not retire, because he did not have a job, Bill did eventually sell off the livestock, subdivided the land and sold the farmland leaving 6.5 acres for him and Leila to continue to enjoy the gardening and putting in the yard until 2010 when they moved to Swan River, where he resided until his passing.
When not busy with livestock and farming, Bill enjoyed curling, chauffeuring his kids and grandkids to and from skating, curling, hockey, swimming lessons and ball; socializing with friends and family; and playing cards. Bill loved to travel and go fishing. He may have even been accused of sinking a boat and truck at one time! He and Leila covered a lot of miles visiting family and enjoyed vacations with their friends. Once they moved into town, Bill and Leila continued to stay busy watching and cheering on the Swan Valley Stampeders Junior A hockey team and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.
He will be sadly missed by his daughters Colleen (Dale) and Karen (Randy); grandchildren Ricki-Lea, Brett, and Stephanie; great grandchildren Kaylee, Tucker, Clayton, Payton and Javan; brother Hap (Donna), sister Dianne (Jim), brothers-in-law Dennis, Jack, and Don, and sisters-in-law Colleen and Debbie; and numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved and cherished dearly.
He was predeceased by the love of his life, Leila, his parents Charlie and Gerry Barker, brothers Bob (Bid), Stuart, Tom, and Mikey; sisters Pat and Rena (Lawrence), father-in-law Fred, step-father-in law Arnie, mother-in-law Mae, brother-in-law Duncan (Carole) and sisters-in-law Winnie and Carol, and nephew Brian.