Cover photo for Van Thomas Barker, Jr.'s Obituary
Van Thomas Barker, Jr. Profile Photo
1945 Van thomas 2020

Van Thomas Barker, Jr.

January 3, 1945 — December 26, 2020

A memorial visitation to honor Van’s life will be held on Friday April 9, 2021 in the chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home from 5 pm until 6:30 pm. Burial services will follow on Saturday, April 10th at Liberty Chapel Cemetery in the Williana community at 11 am. On Saturday, December 26, 2020, Van Barker, age 75, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, passed away with his family by his side, after a long battle with cancer. Van was born on January 3, 1945, in Natchitoches. He was the oldest of five children born to Thomas “Tom” and Willa Vee Barker. He was preceded in death by his parents and his grandparents, Willie Hugh and Avey Nugent and William Pinkney and Daisy Barker. Van attended Northwestern Lab School, Natchitoches High School, and Northwestern State College. It was at Northwestern that he met the love of his life, Linda, and they were married on January 30, 1965. As a music major, he was able to continue his love of the cello that began in the Natchitoches High Orchestra. He later performed with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra, as well as symphonies in Shreveport, LA, Atlanta, Rome, and Gainesville, GA. While in college, Van worked in retail sales at the local Western Auto store. After a family move in 1974, Van became a buyer and later manager for the Gibson Company in Gainesville and Carrollton, GA. In 1980, he returned to his beloved Cane River and began a career as an insurance agent representing several companies. He retired from the New York Life Insurance Company. Van loved the outdoors and especially the water. Duck hunting on “The Prairie”, fishing on Black Lake, and week-long boating trips on Red River with friends and their sons made cherished memories for all. Cooking for friends and family, especially on holidays, gave Van much joy. Christmas Festival day was a time of “Open House” when he would invite family, friends, and even a few strangers to visit, eat, and rest. After retirement, Van shared his interest in gun collecting and firearms with others by trading, buying, and selling firearms at various gun shows throughout Louisiana. Many friendships were formed with other vendors and gun enthusiasts. Van is survived by his wife of 55 years, Linda; children, Andy and his wife Shelia of Quitman, LA, and Jennifer Morin and her husband Shawn of Shreveport, LA; grandchildren include Corey Rowe and his wife Amy, of Clay, LA, Courtney Roncal and her husband Bryan, of Quitman, LA, Andrew Walker and his wife Rachel, of Benton, LA, Allyson Walker and Cooper Austin, of Shreveport, LA. He is also survived by his 8 great-grandchildren. Van dearly loved his family and rejoiced in each one’s accomplishments, as well as supporting their dreams. There were many vacation trips involving outdoor adventures which made memories for his children and grandchildren. Also surviving Van, are his sisters, Zoe Almond and her husband Tony, of Sugarland, TX, Jan Nolley and her husband Dennis, of Athens, TX, Meg Michael and her husband Malcolm, of Natchitoches, LA, and his brother, Len Barker and his wife Ginger, of Greenwood, LA; as well as his aunts, June Stringer and Beth Schultz; and several nephews, nieces, and cousins. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude’s research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, or to Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, April 9, 2021

5:00 - 6:30pm (Central time)

Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home

848 Keyser Ave, Natchitoches, LA 71457

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Burial of Cremains

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Liberty Chapel Cemetery

, Dry Prong, LA 71423

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