James Rodney Barker
James Rodney Barker, 79, of Salem, Ark. was born Feb. 8, 1938 to the late Luther Sylvester and Nola Lou (Maguffee) Barker in Salem. He departed this life on March 19, 2017 in Salem.
Rodney married Hazel Louise Bosworth on July 6, 1958 in Salem and to this union three children were born. Rodney graduated from Salem High School in1956 and he spent the next 12 years in Oklahoma City, Okla. working as a welder for Kimray Incorporated. He helped to install heating and air and street sign fabrication. He returned to Salem where he went to work with Cities Service Oil Company and later became the manager of Amerigas Propane. He worked in the LP gas business for 31 years. He worked on many community projects during his working years and spent many hours helping build the Salem Football Field. He was kind and helped many customers and friends throughout the years. He loved reading, horses and doing various things with his children. The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren truly were his pride and joy.
He is survived by his wife Hazel (Nana Lou) Barker of the home; daughter, Carla (Barker) Wilden of Salem; two sons, Bruce Barker of Salem and Steve Barker and wife Kimberly of Salem; three brothers, Roy Barker of Salem, Larry Barker of Salem and Gary Barker and wife Judy of Gentry, Ark.; eight grandchildren, Luke Barker, Stephanie Smith and husband Jake, Sara Wilden, Cathryn Nelson and husband Josh, Elizabeth Wilden Gibson, Trenton Barker, Peyton Barker and Carson Barker; nine great grandchildren, Riley LaFevers, Hattie LaFevers, Allison Smith, Addison Smith, Hoyt Smith, Camryn Mitchell, Noah Barker, Connor Barker and SJ Nelson and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister and brother in law (Evelyn and Udell Skidmore), two sister in laws (Anna Lee Barker and Jo Ann Barker) and grandparents (Martin and Saphronia Barker and Mahlon and Hattie Maguffee).
Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at Barker Funeral Home in Salem with Bro. John Hodges and Dale Godwin officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. Pallbearers are Bruce Barker, Steve Barker, Luke Barker, Jake Smith, Neil Barker and Josh Hudson. Honorary Pallbearers are Harrell Estes, Bonnie Broughton, J.C. Foster, Ronnie Robbins, Tim Hodges, Roy Cunningham, David Garland, Gaye Williams, Chris Tomlinson, Jerry Moody, Randy Robinson, Jeremy (Lil Indian) Fowler, Larry Zeigler, Marty Dillinger, Emery King, Dr. David Kauffman, Tuffy Smith, Pedro Lewis, Harold Cotter and James Bragg. Memorials may be made to Salem Cemetery Association, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital or Arkansas Children's Hospital. Arrangements are entrusted to Barker Funeral Home of Salem. Guests may sign an online registry at www.barkerfuneral.com.