Audrey Bertha Barker
Audrey Bertha Barker
  • February 28, 1927 - March 5, 2017
  • Newberg, Oregon

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In Loving Memory

Audrey Bertha Poole Barker was born on February 27, 1928 to Lewis and Eva Poole in Silverton, Devon, England. She is the eldest of two, with a younger sister who went on to work for the British Government. Her father was an accountant, and her mother was conscripted during WWII to prepare food during a time of rationing. Living in a small town, Audrey was protected from much of the bombing, but still remembers well the attacks that took place during WWII, as well as the rationing that occurred during this time. As an adolescent, she attended high school in Exeter, a city about 8 miles from her village of Silverton.

Audrey and her loving husband, William (Bill) Marion Barker, et during WWII at a dance in Silverton. He was an American soldier who had come over to England to serve on D-Day. They fell in love and were married on July 28, 1945 in Silverton. After the war, Audrey sailed to New York with other war brides to once again join her husband for the long train journey to Harrington, Kansas. They made their home in Kansas while her husband, Bill, went to school to earn his bachelors and master’s degree in music and teaching.

As a young woman in a new country, Audrey quickly became very adept learning the slang of the language, and culture of the American way. As a homemaker and mother of two daughters, Joyce and Gillian, she learned to be flexible as her husband’s job opportunities lead them to Harrington, and Ottawa, Kansas; and summers in Boulder Colorado, and finally to Portland, Oregon in 1959. Her greatest accomplishment during that time was the day she became a US nationalized citizen in 1959.

Over the years, Audrey and her family traveled around the United States, Europe, Canada and returned to England on several occasions, taking time to visit her family who had remained in England. In addition to traveling, Audrey was an accomplished seamstress, gardener, and enjoyed dancing, music, attending symphonies and plays, and ushered at various venues in the Portland area.

She was always active in community and civic organizations. Audrey was a member of the League of Women’s Voters, the local PTA, the Woman’s Association of Public Accountants, March of Dimes (Walk Against Birth Defects), PEO Chapter DV (Portland) and gave tirelessly of her time at her church. Audrey valued education and was always taking classes to better herself and to gain the knowledge, training and credentials necessary to pursue her career. She did this while working full time and taking care of two children and running a household.

Audrey was one of the first employees on opening day of the Lloyd Center in Portland Penny’s store and continued her employment from then on working full time as a bookkeeper at various companies, and later operated her own accounting business until she retired in the early 1990’s. During her retirement, she volunteered keeping books for churches in her area.

In 2005 Audrey and Bill moved to Friendsview Retirement Community where they made many friends. She appreciated the opportunities to go for walks, attend movies and concerts, visit the library, attend computer workshops, garden and sew.

Predeceased by her husband Bill Barker, Audrey leaves her sister Elizabeth (Betty) Scagel, of Exmouth, England, daughters and their husbands Joyce and Dean Auenson, and Gillian and J. Michael Hays, her grandchildren Heather Rose and husband Ben Rose, Ian Hays and wife Cooper Hays, J. Daniel Hays and fiancée Deb Speirs; and her great-grandchildren Ashton Rose, Taylor Rose, and Macy Rose.

Celebration of Life service to be held at The Parish of St. Mark, downtown Portland. Date to be determined.