Major William E. Barker, (USMC Retired)September 29, 1943 ~ July 11, 2017 (age 73)
William Ernest Barker, the Major
Attention to Orders: On July 11, 2017 Major William E. Barker (USMC Retired) at the age of 73 received his orders for a Permanent Change of Station, and was reassigned to the Pearly Gates of Heaven’s 777th Marine Corps Detachment. His new assignment will include teaching Close Order Drill, Color Guard, Marksmanship and Physical Fitness to all new angels reporting to the new Recruit Depot. He will be serving as the operations and training officer, charged with bringing together and inspiring those who desire to learn, and love one’s country.
On Earth, he is now relieved of the following duties:
Senior Marine Instructor Eldorado HS 1990-1996 and La Cueva HS 1997-2008; District Military Instructor for Albuquerque Public Schools 2008-2017; Wounded Warrior Program Shooting Coordinator; American Legion President for Post 49; Enlisted USMC 1965-1971 and Officer USMC 1971-1990; Advocate for the New Mexico Fish and Game Archery Program; 1st District Military Academy Selection Team; Albuquerque Police Oversight Commission representing City Council District 9; NM State Director for Civilian Marksmanship Program and American Legion Junior Shooting Program advocate.
Major Barker was born on September 29, 1943 in Bellingham, WA. He was the son of Sergeant Major Ernest and Doris Barker. He is survived by his wife Shelley and sister Nancy Doyle. Major Dad’s children are Gary Barker and wife Beth, Shelley Jones-Davis, Ashley Barker and husband John, Tobanna Barker, Jessica Buchan and husband Andrew, and Michael Barker and wife Heather. Poppy Bill also has a platoon of grandchildren Evan, Megan, Maggie, Mary, Charlie, Lorenzo, Blaine, Gus, Avery and Evelyn. He has numerous nieces and nephews who he loved spending time with, and he had a special connection with each of them.
The Major had an amazing ability to solve problems, counsel youth, and mentor friends and colleagues anywhere and everywhere, including on the rifle range, or around a backyard fire pit, cigar in hand. His willingness to stand up for his people - whether they were students, teachers, coaches, family, friends, colleagues, Wounded Warriors, Marines, or sometimes all of the above - was renowned. There was no problem too big for him, nor person too small. During his brief stay in Hospice after his stroke, he heard many stories from his former students, APS co-workers, American Legion friends, and family members. All of the stories had the same theme - the Major’s policy was to lead the way until there was no more way, and he will always be remembered as a catalyst for great and positive change in our lives.
Rest easy good friend, we now have the watch. Semper Fi, Marine!
There will be a private burial at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 1PM-4PM at the Four Hills Canyon Club, 911 Four Hills Rd. SE. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to “Friends of Major Barker Memorial Fund” and can be mailed to 13170 Central Ave SE, Ste B, PMB 915; Albuquerque, NM 87123. All donations will be used to assist the JROTC programs here in the area, where Major Barker dedicated much of his life.