FAIRMONT - Richard Louis Barke, 89, of Fairmont, Minn., went home to be with his Lord and Savior Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 7, 2012, at Truman Senior Living Center.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, at St. John's United Church of Christ in Fairmont. Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery with full military honors by the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 and the Martin County VFW Post 1222.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
Richard Louis Barke was born Aug. 18, 1923, in Rutland Township, Martin County, the son of Adolph G. and Sarah C. (Haeckel) Barke. He attended country school in Rutland Township and then the Fairmont High School, graduating in 1941. After his schooling, he farmed with his dad. In November 1945, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and served as a weather man. He was honorably discharged in November 1946 and returned to the family farm. On Sept. 2, 1951, he was united in marriage to Eunice Berg at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. They lived on the family farm and raised four children together. Richard grew corn and soybeans and raised cattle, hogs and sheep until his mid-80s. He also enjoyed spending his early mornings in the garden. His farm is a century farm. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren and all of their accomplishments.
Richard was a lifelong member of St. John's United Church of Christ, where he was an usher, elder and served on the church council. He served on the Rutland Township Board for 40 years and was an election judge. He was also on the Martin County Fair Board for 36 years, Rural Electric Board and Martin County Farm Service Board, 4-H leader and served on the 4-H council. He was nominated for the "Outstanding Senior in Martin County." He was a steady and patient presence in his family's life, a good man, who loved to read and never turned down a piece of pie and ice cream.
Those who will cherish his memory include his wife, Eunice Barke of Fairmont; four children, Stephanie Barke of Fairmont, Patricia Richards and her husband, Doug, of Blue Earth, John Barke and his wife, Jan, of Roseville, Minn., Bill Barke and his wife, Alicia, of Fairmont; eight grandchildren, Sarah Darula (Mike), Becca Moen (Jordan), Dr. William Richards (Elke), Jenna Van Proosdy (Adam), Jake and Joe Barke, Jack and Nick Barke; four great grandchildren, Avery and Mackenzie Darula, Connor Moen and Aasta Jane Richards; one brother, Robert Barke and his wife, LaVonne, of Fairmont; nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.
In addition to his parents, Adolph and Sarah Barke, Richard was preceded in death by an infant brother, Howard Barke; and two sisters, Mary Jane Krueger and Clarice Lintelman.