Edwin K Barker

Edwin K. (Ed) Barker, age 91 longtime Iowa City educator and businessman, died Friday, November 29, 2019, at Oaknoll Retirement Residence.

Funeral services will be held at 10am Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City (Sunday Parking ordinance will be in effect for streets near the church). Burial will follow a light reception at the church following the services. Visitation will be from 3 to 6 pm Friday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers Ed’s family encourages donations be given in his memory to either the Iowa City Community School District Foundation, Rotary International or Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. To share a thought, memory or condolence with his family please visit the funeral home website @ www.gayandciha.com.

Edwin (Ed) Kaye Barker was born at home at 409 East Fourth Avenue in Indianola, Iowa on August 8, 1928 to Earl and Una Barker.  Ed graduated from Indianola High School in 1946.  After attending Simpson College for one year, he transferred to Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa where he received his BA degree in 1950, majoring in Social Studies and minoring in Business Education.  Ed began working for pay in 1939.  By saving his money, he was able to graduate from college debt free. After graduating in May of 1950, Ed began teaching in the Sharpsburg, Iowa School District in southwest Iowa.  There were a total of 20 students in grades 9 through 12 with a faculty of two, the Superintendent and Ed. 

The Korean War started in June of 1950.  Ed received his draft notice in September.  The Board of Education was able to get a deferment until the end of the first semester.  Ed was inducted into the army on January 25, 1950 and did his basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas.  During basic training Ed was notified that he had been selected to attend the Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC) School located at Fort Holabird in Dundalk MD.  After graduating from the CIC school, Ed was assigned to work at the CIC headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, arriving in late December 1951.  He worked in an office with four people, two captains and two corporals.  Ed worked with a wonderful captain, with whom he had a life-time association.  Their job was to receive all of the reports from the many CIC offices throughout Japan about sabotage and disaffected United States soldiers.  Ed had a considerable amount of free time which he used to travel to all parts of beautiful Japan and to interact with many wonderful Japanese people.  He and another CIC person taught conversational English one night a week in a private school.  Ed had a wonderful time in Japan but was ready to return home early January of 1953.

The next four summers Ed attended graduate school, graduating with a Master’s Degree at UNI.  In the fall of 1953 Ed resumed his teaching career in Lake Park, Iowa.  After two years he began his career as a secondary school principal in Stanhope, Iowa where he remained for two years.  From there, he became the Junior-Senior High School principal in Coon Rapids, Iowa.  In Stanhope and for the first year at Coon Rapids, Ed taught two or three classes.  In November during Ed’s third year in Coon Rapids, a friend introduced him, at a small party in his Des Moines home, to Ethel Kjaer Hansen.  Ethel’s first husband, a soon to be ordained minister, had died about 18 months previously, leaving Ethel with two adorable little girls, Alice and Susan.  Ed and Ethel were married by her father, a Lutheran minister, on June 18, 1960.  The family moved to Chariton, Iowa that summer.  Ed had accepted the position as the Chariton High School principal.  During the family’s four year stay in Chariton, David and Jim were born.  The family moved to Boone, Iowa in the summer of 1964 where Ed had been selected to be the principal of the Boone Junior-Senior High School which had about 1,000 students.  In December of 1967, Ed was asked to serve as principal of the new Iowa City West High Junior-Senior High school which was to open in August, 1968. Ed began working in Iowa City in February, commuting to Boone week-ends so that the children could finish the school year in Boone.  Opening a new high school and serving as the principal for 11 years was an exciting and fun way for Ed to cap his 27 year career in secondary education.

With four children planning to attend college, Ed and Ethel needed to find a way to acquire more money.  Ethel got a book on real estate from the public library.  Over the next few years several rental properties were acquired with Ed doing the negotiating and Ethel managing the properties.  Eventually Jim and a few years later David and his wife, Sarah, became involved in the business, expanding into Davenport, Iowa.

Ed was involved in many local organizations and government entities.  He also raised significant amounts of money for a variety of local and national needs.

Ed enjoyed traveling, visiting all 50 states and approximately 40 different countries.  Their daughter, Alice planned most of the family vacations, beginning when she was in 8th grade. Those trips included visiting all of the 48 lower states. 

Ed is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ethel, children Alice Miller (Mark), Susan Dresdale, David Barker (Sarah Richardson), and James Barker (Anna), grandchildren Eric Miller (Melissa Elliott), Katie Miller (Jeremy Stubbs), Jacob Dresdale (Alina) , Anna Dresdale, Gabriel Barcellos-Dresdale (Mariana), Margaret Richardson, William Barker, Nicholas Barker, Thomas Barker, and Emma Barker and great-grandchildren Michaela Barcellos-Dresdale, Benjamin Stubbs, and Elliott Miller.

“Written by Edwin Barker in 2015."