Howard Barker passed away peacefully with family by his side on Monday, March 29, 2021 at Portage District General Hospital at the age of 82 after a 14 year battle with thyroid cancer and a short week-long battle with liver cancer.
Howard will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Cheryl, sons Jeff and Trevor (Rita) and grandchildren Breanna (Tobian) and Tyler, as well as many sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, extended family members and friends, and his special furry friend Buddy.
He was predeceased by his parents William “Bill” and May Barker, sister Blanche Sutherland and brother-in-law Milton Sutherland and parents-in-law Lorne and Sylvia Witherspoon.
Howard was born in Glenboro, MB and spent his early years on the family farm. In 1963, he decided to go into broadcasting and took a course at Brown Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Upon graduating, he obtained employment at CFRY Portage and remained there for nearly 40 years. He married Cheryl Witherspoon on February 19, 1966. Howard spent most of his time at CFRY as the Farm News Director, attending many meetings and providing live coverage at fairs in the area from June to August every year from the 1960’s to 2003. The family travelled to many locations in Canada and the US during the summer (after the fairs) and especially enjoyed going to Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. A special trip was to England in 1995 to visit new found relatives. Howard was involved in a number of organizations over the years – Portage Toastmasters, 10 Pin Bowling League, Portage Pairs and Squares Square Dance Club and the Portage Fair Board. He played electric Guitar in a number of different bands over the years, and was playing with Roy and Friends at the Portage Care Homes and the MacGregor Care Home up to last March when everything was shut down. He enjoyed his regular morning coffee with friends at the Herman Prior Activity Centre and at Chicken Chef.
Special thanks to the doctors and nurses on the medical ward at Portage District Health Centre. Your kindness and excellent care and concern will not be forgotten.
Viewing and visitation will be held at McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturday, April 3, 2021. A private family interment will take place at Glenboro Cemetery at a later date.
As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made in Howard’s memory to Cancer Care Manitoba, 1160-675 McDermot Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3E 0V9, Sunset Palliative Care Inc, Box 92, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3B2 or to a charity of your choice.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com