Obituary: Mr J. J. Barker

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Mr John James Barker of Grantham passed away suddenly at Lincoln Hospital, aged 63.

Born in Wigan, Lancashire, John was the eldest of three children to Betty and Derek. Survived by his mum, John’s sisters are Sylvia and Bernadette and brother-in-law Phil. Mr Barker did not have any children, however he was a loyal uncle to Andrew and Simone and great uncle to Tristan and Keira.

Mr Barker attended St Cuthbert’s Primary before moving to St Thomas Moore High School in Wigan. During his youth he served mass as an altar boy for Canon Carney at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Church in Wigan from the age of seven until 15 years old when the family immigrated to Australia as £10 migrants.

When the family arrived in Perth, West Australia in February 1964, Mr Barker found work as an apprentice spray painter at City Motors where he later qualified. During the Vietnam War he sprayed vehicles in camouflage for the Australian Army.

During his time in Perth and Sydney, Mr Barker found a new hobby in Ballroom dancing. His hobby soon became a profession and he won the Australian championship and came second in the South Pacific event. He took part in numerous competitions and always came home with a cup. His favourite dance was the quickstep.

The family returned to England during the mid 1980s and Mr Barker found employment at Sutherington’s on Spittalgate Level and then Coles Cranes in Grantham as a spray painter. Following a career change, he was employed at Salvesens, South East Lincs Security and later Padleys, now known as Moy Park.

During his life, Mr Barker always loved animals, in particular dogs, which he spent hours training. The first family dog was Duke who he trained and won rosettes for obedience and agility. There was rarely any time when he did not own a dog.

The funeral service was held at St Mary the Immaculate Catholic Church in Grantham, conducted by Father Michael O’Donoghue. Burial followed at Grantham Crematorium.

Family mourners included: Betty Barker, Sylvia Wakley, Phil Wakley, Andrew Wakley, Victoria Wakley, Simone Sheffield, Mark Sheffield, Linda and Keith Barlow.

Other mourners included: Geraldine Holt, Eileen and Martin Hitch, Paul Serplus, Wayne Musson, Jane Jones, Judith Garner, Carol Hopcroft, Sandra McCann, Joanna Johnson, Heidi Nix, Patricia Horrobin, Kate Worth, Pauline Hawkins, Martin Read, Alison Bradley, Christine Stanbrook, Honor Mary, Bob Dove, Eileen Scanlan, Brian Coulson, Maria and Paul Hardy, Lilian Knowles, Nigel Laing, Alison Robson.

Funeral arrangements by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham.

Donations were received for the British Heart Foundation, amounting to £125.67.