James Barker Jr.
James M. Barker, Jr., 84, of Colonial Heights passed away on Thursday, December 14, 2017. He was born in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1933, but had resided in Colonial Heights since age 11. He is the son of the late Josephine Strickland Barker and James M. Barker, Sr., and was also preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.
Mr. Barker graduated from Petersburg High School in 1951 and entered the United States Navy in 1952, where upon completion of Navy training, he served as a Hospital Corpsman with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953 to 1956. While serving with the Third Marine Division, he was an instructor in Atomic, Biological, and Chemical Warfare. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for 6 years. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 1961 with a BA degree with a major in French and minors in Spanish and English. He received his MEd. degree from the University of Virginia with a major in Secondary School Administration in 1971 after attending Washington and Lee University and Richmond Professional Institute. He taught English and French at Hopewell High School from 1961 to 1967, French at Colonial Heights High School (CHHS) in 1967-68, and was assistant principal there from 1968-1972. He was principal at CHHS from 1972-1986, and served as the Director of Secondary Education for Colonial Heights Public Schools from 1986-98. He also served as principal of summer school, served 4 years as the director of Adult Education for Colonial Heights Public Schools, and taught Elementary Japanese in the after-school elementary school program. He was licensed by the State Board of Education to teach English, French, and Chemistry. He retired in 1998.
Mr. Barker was involved in many education-related activities having served as the Dominion District chairman and secretary/treasurer of the Central Region of the Virginia High School League. He also served as secretary of the Richmond-Petersburg Supervisors Group from 1988-90. He was an Associate Member of the Virginia Secondary Committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools from 1977- 1983 and a Commission Member of the Secondary Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools from 1983-1988. He served on the board of directors of the Richmond Area Health Education Consortium. He had held memberships in the Virginia and National Associations of Teachers of English, Virginia and National Associations of French Teachers, the Virginia and National Education Associations, Virginia and National Association of Secondary School Principals, Virginia and National Association of Curriculum Development, and the Colonial Heights Retired School Personnel Association. He also was a member of the American Legion Post 284, the Air Force Association, Leigh Wade Chapter, and held life membership status in the Third Marine Division Association, was a member of the national Harley Owners Group, and a member of the Colonial Harley Owners Group chapter. He served on the Colonial Heights City Council 1990-1994, and also served on the Colonial Heights School Board 1998-2006, serving as vice-chairman in 2002-03. He also served on the governing board of the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School.
He is survived by his loving wife, Hisako Tsukuda Barker; two daughters, Claudia Gleave and husband, Roy, and Kay Callis and husband, Keith; three sons, David Barker, Owen Barker and wife, Lisa, Jason Barker and wife, Jennifer; eight grandchildren, Shannon Bridgeman and husband, Brad, Cameron Callis and wife, Barbara, Bryce Barker, Brianna Barker, Brooke Barker, Brent Barker, Brigitte Barker and Jacob Barker; and one great-grandson, Sebastian Callis.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 22, 2017 at the Colonial Heights Chapel of E. Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard. Interment will take place at 1:30 p.m. in Virginia Veterans Cemetery at Amelia, 10300 Pridesville Rd, Amelia Court House, VA 23002. The family will receive friends Thursday night, December 21, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Children's Hospital of Richmond, 2924 Brook Road Richmond, VA 23220 in memory of James.