Obituary of Mary Joy Barker
Mary Joy Barker of Grass Valley, California, passed away on May 24, 2016 at Golden Empire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 90.
A longtime elementary school teacher in the Martinez, California, school district, Mary Joy was born Mary Joy Connors in Columbus, Ohio, on July 29, 1925, and moved to the Bay Area in 1945 after marrying her Marine husband, Edward Lewis Barker. She was a proud alumna of Ohio State University and the University of California at Berkeley.
Mary Joy lived many years in El Sobrante and Berkeley but re-located to El Cerrito in 1995 after the death of her husband. She was active in her church, first in El Sobrante and then at Christ the Lord Episcopal Church in Pinole. She moved to Grass Valley in 2011 to be near her son and his family.
The daughter of John Patrick Connors and Mabel Hart Connors, Mary Joy traveled the world, usually with her husband, her daughter, or one or more of her four sisters. The five Connors sisters went to Ireland together in 1978 and frequently attended Saint Patrick’s Day parties held by Mary Joy’s daughter. Mary Joy loved family reunions, poetry, music and trivia games and supported many charities, especially veterans and animal rights organizations.
Mary Joy is survived by her daughter Karlyn Barker, of Washington, D.C.; her son Mark Barker and daughter-in-law Liz Barker, of Glen Carbon, IL.; son Bill Barker and daughter-in-law Karen Barker, of Grass Valley, CA.; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A life celebration will be held at Hilltop Commons in Grass Valley on June 9. The family will hold an Irish wake for Mary Joy’s relatives and friends at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the El Sobrante Boys & Girls Club, P.O. Box 20090, El Sobrante, CA, 94820.
Arrangements are under the care of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary.
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