John Allan Barker
LAKELAND - John A. Barker, 70, of Lakeland died July 23, 2009 of heart failure.
John was born February 28, 1939 in Detroit Michigan. He moved to Lakeland in 1987 with his family. John served in the US Marine Corp from 1956-1963. He married his wife of 42 years, Jerri, on January 13, 1967. He was the devoted father to two daughters , Kristen A. Wentworth and Kara M. Smith of Lakeland Fl. John was an avid sportsman, coaching baseball, football, and hockey. He enjoyed sports of all kind, which brought him to Lakeland in 1987. He broadcasted high school football in the late 80's for WPCV.
He became involved in local auto racing, writing a local column in the Ledger for 20 years. He traveled all over the racing circuit, including the former Winston Cup Series. The only greater love John had was his family. He was a proud grandfather of four. Zachary Devorss, Kimberly & Patrick Wentworth, and Brayden Smith. Noone could erase the smile from his face when speaking of and spending time with his grandkids. John treated all children as his own, loving to spoil not only his own , but all children.
He is survived by his loving family including his wife, daughters, and grandchildren. In addition, son-in-law Eric Wentworth and soon to be son in law Craig Murrell. His mother Yvonne Ochoa, sisters Linda & Renee, brothers Roy & Paul (all of Michigan). John has many many nieces & nephews. He will be missed by all.
Services will be held at St. Josephs Catholic Church on Friday July 31 at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Toys for Tots Foundation. A favorite Marine Corp charity.
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