Darrell Ernest Barker, 88, of New Plymouth, passed away peacefully on May 28, 2020 at his residence following an extended illness.
He was born January 30, 1932, in Payette, Idaho, at the home of a midwife. He was the son of Clifford and Hazel LaVelle (Kirk) Barker. Darrell attended school in New Plymouth, and graduated from New Plymouth High School in 1950. After high school, Darrell attended the University of Idaho in Moscow where he studied Animal Science. At the end of his first year he returned to the expanding family cattle ranch. On August 24, 1951, he married his high school sweetheart Julia Marie Haynes. They made their home on Barker Ranch on Big Willow where they welcomed five children. In 1977, Darrell and Marie divorced.
Darrell spent his life working on the Barker Family cattle ranch; he enjoyed every aspect of it. He appreciated the adventures and endured the hardships that ranch life presented. He loved everything from the baby calves in the spring sunshine, to the hot days working on the “haying crew”. Darrell was recognized for his hard work and, to many in the cattle ranching community, as a great “cowboy”. He was known as a talented roper and buckaroo. He had a keen sense of business and earned an exceptional reputation for honesty among those with whom he dealt. He set a high standard for himself and those around him. Workmanship and paying attention to detail were things that he found personally rewarding. Just one example of his determination was when he and his father Clifford decided to trail the cattle from the ranch on Big Willow to the summer ranch near Donnelly, ID. While still a teenager, he drove the herd over Squaw Butte, up to High Valley, crossing Hwy 55 at Smith’s Ferry, skirting around the town of Cascade, and ending at the Donnelly ranch for summer grazing. This “trailing” cycle continued each spring and fall until 1974. Over the numerous years, many good friends and cowboys helped with the trail. Every person who shared this adventure credited Darrell for his skills as a true cowboy.
On January 18, 1978, Darrell married Shirley (Scott) Beagley. Together they built a home overlooking the Big Willow ranch. There they hosted family and friends alike. In the company of their friends Darrell and Shirley attended concerts in Jackpot, NV, as well as several Pendleton Round-Up Rodeos.
Darrell enjoyed rodeo as a young man and competed in many events, winning several buckles for calf roping, team roping and wild cow milking. Later, he exchanged his rodeo hobby for a new one. He became a pilot. His college roommate and good friend, Leroy Paulsen, trained him. He had a great love of flying and owned both a Tri Pacer and a Cessna 182 Skylane which he flew whenever he had the chance. Flying came in handy when looking for cattle, going to the Donnelly ranch, or attending high school basketball tournaments. Later, in his life he loved to attend his grandchildren’s numerous sporting events. One of his favorite things to do was watch them show livestock at the Payette County Fair and then, afterward, go the Kiwanis Club food booth and enjoy a “Barker Burger”. The burger was named after his father, Clifford, as a way of honoring his community service. Because of his father’s example, Darrell believed community service and the Barker family name were synonymous.
Service to others was something that Darrell took seriously. He served on the Board of Directors for the local Cooperative, as President of the New Plymouth Kiwanis Club, and was a proud member of the Idaho Cattlemen’s Association. His devotion to service was exemplified during his many decades of being called to perform the duties of ward clerk of the LDS New Plymouth Ward. He also served in the Bishopric as counselor to Bishop Moyle Brown.
Darrell was loved by family and friends. He will be remembered for his quick wit and strength. He was cherished for his hard work and funny one-liners. He and his cowboy spirit will be deeply missed.
Darrell was preceded in death by his parents Clifford Barker, Hazel (Kirk) Barker, and step mother Myrtle Esther (Suverely) Barker. Darrell is survived by his wife Shirley Barker of 43 years; sister Darlene Barker Curry of Palm Desert, California; stepsister Lorene Henderson Dutton of Nampa, Idaho; children Deborah Barker of Salt Lake City, Utah; Brian Barker of Pocatello, Idaho; Cherie Goodell of Ontario, Oregon; Scott (Carla) Barker of New Plymouth, Idaho; Kevin Barker of New Plymouth, Idaho; and two stepdaughters Kim (David) Beckman of Hayden, Idaho; and Teri Wade of Fruitland, Idaho. 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, nieces and newphews, 5 step- grandchildren, and 8 step great-grandchildren.
A special and sincere note of thanks to the dedicated and professional staff of Heart ‘n Home Hospice and Edgewood Spring Creek Assisted Living in Fruitland for the loving care they provided.
Graveside services were held on Monday, June 1, 2020 at Park View Cemetery, New Plymouth. Services were under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel. Condolences may be made to Darrell’s family at www.shafferjensen.com.