Clifford Evan Barker, formerly of Ashland, Missouri, passed away on October 1, 2023, at Jefferson City Manor at the age of 81. He was born on April 24, 1942, in Randolph County, Illinois, to the late Jessie Eunice Thomas and Raymond James Barker.
For over 25 years, Cliff was a telephone repairman at General Telephone and Electronics Corporation (GTE). He took great pride in his career, where he appreciated the combination of being outdoors, problem solving, and engaging with others.
Cliff was an avid reader with a passion for history and an interest in plants, animals, and nature. He liked Western movies, historical documentaries, and classic rock. Cliff excelled at a wide range of hobbies, including flint knapping, crafting primitive bows and arrows, building muzzleloaders, forging Damascus knives and tomahawks, making jewelry, harvesting mushrooms and ginseng, and keeping a garden. He also dabbled in drawing, painting, and creative writing. Cliff loved antiques and amassed the largest collection of antique Ball jars in Missouri. He was an expert marksman and enjoyed attending rendezvous, Pow Wows, Pioneer Days, Civil War re-enactments, Heritage Festivals, and gun shows, as well as gun and bow competitions, where his skills often led him to victory. In his younger years, Cliff rode Honda motorcycles, had a fondness for classic cars and trucks, and was a talented dart player. There was very little that he could not build, repair, create or learn.
His most treasured four-legged friends were his Yorkshire Terrier, Spiffy, his constant companion in old age, and his childhood pet groundhog.
Cliff is survived by his loving wife, Karen Lynn (Hartmann) Barker, his children, Jessica Barker, Thomas Barker, Tracy Loos, Bridgett Costanzo, Jeff Estel, and David Estel, his grandchildren, and other extended relatives. He was preceded in death by his mother Jessie (Thomas) Wilson, father Raymond Barker, sister Barbara (Barker) Patrick, aunt Marjorie Thomas, and uncles Clifford, Evan, and William Thomas, as well as his grandparents, Evan and Priscilla (Williams) Thomas.
In accordance with Cliff’s wishes, no memorial services are planned. He will be remembered as a fiercely independent, creative, intelligent, and strong-willed man who left a lasting impact on those who knew him. His memory will be cherished by all who loved him.