Obituary of Ben Porter Barker, Jr.
Ben Porter Barker Jr, age 89, died peacefully in his sleep yesterday at Sandy Rehabilitation Center, near Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ben is survived by a wife, Marta, three sons: Ben Barker III, Scott Barker, Kevin Barker and step-daughter Martina Ricketson. He also leaves behind sister Charlotte Richards, brother Robert Barker, 6 grandchildren; Joshua Barker, Jason Barker, Bradley Barker, Sami Jo (Barker) Young, Casey Leavitt, and Zachary Leavitt; and 4 great grandchildren Britney, Breanna, Porter, Sullivan, Benjamin and Jaxston.
Ben is a Korean war veteran, where he earned several awards including the Good Conduct, China Service, National Defense, Korean Service and United Nations Service Medals. He served 4 years with distinction as a Navy Aerographer's Mate on board the USS Sandoval on the seas around Korea and South Pacific. His love of the sea he learned in the Navy never left him, as friends and family will attest.
He grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida the son of Ben Porter Barker Sr. and Ada L. (Hightower) Barker. He grew up playing baseball and became a very good pitcher. He attended several colleges; St. Petersburg Junior College, Florida State University, and University of Georgia while working as a weather forecaster in Athens, Ga. There he became one of Georgia Bulldogs football team biggest fans. Ben retired from the National Weather Service in Tulsa, OK as Meteorologist-in-Charge where he was instrumental in developing the Early Warning System for severe weather such as tornadoes and implemented life saving sirens and radio warnings that are being used today. He retired from the Tulsa weather office to pursue his other passions, gardening, traveling, photography, art, golf and fishing.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ben Barker, Jr., please visit Tribute Store