Robert Eugene Barker

December 3, 1941 ~ June 29, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old


Robert Eugene “Bob” Barker, 81, of Broughton, IL passed away on Thursday, June 29, 2023 at his home.  He was born December 3, 1941 in Dale, IL the son of Arlie Robert Barker & Goldia Lucille (Webb) Barker.  On January 30, 1960 he married Vivian Geraldine “Gerri” (Owen) Barker, who survives.

Bob graduated from Eldorado High School in 1959, and went on to become a Journeyman Pipefitter & Welder.  He worked for the Evansville Local #136 and Chicago Local #597 Labor Unions as a pipefitter & welder,  a pipefitter & welder trainer, and a pipe layout instructor.  Bob authored a book that was published about proper pipe layout.  During his career, his job led to traveling all over the country, and he also worked and lived abroad in England and the South Pacific.

He was a 32nd degree Master Mason and a Shriner, and was an active member of the McLeansboro Polk Lodge #137 and a former member of the Walpole Tuscan Lodge #163 and the Broughton Lodge #963.  He was an integral part of the CHIP program, which was a free service from the Masonic Lodge for children.  He was on the Eldorado, IL Library Board of Directors from the same year it became a district library in 1987 until 2023 and was the longest-serving trustee on the board.  He was a member of the Wild Turkey Foundation of Southern Illinois, a member of the Hamilton County, IL Historical Society, a member of the McLeansboro B.P.O.E. #1882, he served as the former President/Mayor of the Village of Broughton, IL and was a volunteer firefighter for the Broughton Volunteer Fire Department.

Bob was an advocate for learning both information and practical skills.  He was an avid reader and he enjoyed studying history & sharing that knowledge with others.  He enjoyed turkey hunting, fishing, spending time outdoors, gardening, and traveling.  He also enjoyed woodworking and carpentry, making handmade walking sticks, and metal fabrication & welding.  He loved spending time with his family, especially with his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.

Bob is survived by his wife Vivian “Gerri” Barker of Broughton, IL; 2 daughters: Vi Gene Ritzert of Evansville, IN and Robin Jodine Höltje (and husband Christian) of Pittsburgh, PA; 2 grandchildren: Robert Daniel Goad (and wife Kayla) of Evansville, IN and Holly Gene Keele (and husband Ryan) of Evansville, IN; 2 great-grandchildren: Isaac David Lary and Jakob Michael Lary; a brother Gordon Lee Barker of Northern Indiana, several uncles, several nieces, and a nephew.

He was preceded in death by both parents Arlie & Goldia Barker, a sister-in-law Wanda Joyce (McGill) Barker, an infant nephew Robert Barker, a son-in-law David Wayne Ritzert, and an aunt Generia Webb.

Graveside services for Robert Eugene “Bob” Barker will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, July 3, 2023 at Hickory Hill Cemetery in Broughton, IL with Bro. Brian Dessauer officiating, and will be open to the public.  A private family visitation and Masonic Rites will be held prior to the graveside services.  Those attending the graveside services are asked to meet directly at the cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Shriners Children’s Hospital or to Residential Hospice, and will be accepted at Gholson Funeral Home in McLeansboro, IL.

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Graveside Funeral Service
July 3, 2023

11:30 AM
Hickory Hill Cemetery
Route 1
Broughton, IL 62817


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