George Arthur “Art” Barker III, July 26, 1954 — February 17, 2021
Last updated 3/10/2021 at Noon
Our friend George Arthur “Art” Barker III, who was born on July 26, 1954 in Niles, Ohio, passed peacefully on Ash Wednesday, February 17. He was at his home in Sisters, where his closest and best friend, Ron Cattani, was at his side.
He was born to Janet and George Arthur “Sonny” Barker II and was the oldest of seven children.
Shortly after high school graduation he joined the Navy as a proud American during the VietNam era and was assigned to the USS Dixie.
He received an honorable discharge and then pursued a career in cooking where he became a successful sous chef.
After over 20 years he left the industry and began working in heavy construction.
He worked for Hamilton Construction as a grade checker and framer in the start-up phase of the Parkway in Bend on the Revere Avenue and Empire Avenue bridges.
He worked for Fowler Construction in the underground piping of the irrigation canal under Highway 97 in Redmond.
He was the “powder monkey” for Peter Kiewit Construction in the building of the Crooked River Historic Bridge, also known as the Rex T. Barber Memorial Bridge.
Local companies he worked for included: Hap Taylor Construction in the startup stages of Pronghorn Resort and Golf Club; Del Barber Excavation, Redmond installing the infrastructure for many subdivisions and also removal and upgrading of old water and sewer lines predominately in Bend and Redmond.
He loved animals and, along with his wife, Sue, had a small farm north of Redmond, where different breeds of chickens, ducks, geese, and goats were raised. There were also a pair of emus, llamas, a miniature donkey, and pot belly pigs. There were also about eight different breeds of exotic pheasants, wallabies, and coatimundi along with dogs and many cats.
Besides his love for animals, he loved football and was a huge San Diego Chargers fan. He enjoyed gardening, camping, fishing, and cooking and especially grilling something wonderful on the barbecue for many friends.
He has five children, Henry (Paulette) Barker, John (Sherrha Brown) Barker, and Mandy (Sean) Kennedy, all residing in California; Heather Biffle, Mississippi, and George Arthur Barker IV (Annel) in the Army stationed in Germany. He has 10 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Sister Cynthia Ann Barker, Ohio, and Richard (Suzanne) Barker of Florida, and four step-brothers and sisters.
He was preceded in his passing by his father, “Sonny” and step-brother, Kevin Ramer.
He lived his life to the fullest and yet had a soft side that would bring a tear during a sad movie.
“If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on now, ’cuz there’s too many places I’ve got to see...I’m as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change, Oh, oh, oh, oh. And the bird you cannot change... Lord knows, I can’t change, Lord help me, I can’t change. Won’t you fly high, free bird, yeah.”
— Lynyrd Skynyrd
The best of the good times will always be remembered.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Donations may be made to any animal shelter; St. Charles Hospice, Bend, Oregon; or St. Judes Cancer Research.