BARKER, Virginia Holliday
July 5, 2013 6:09 AM
Virginia (Ginny) Barker passed away peacefully on June 25th, not long after her 94th birthday. Ginny was born in Ukiah in June 1919. She grew up in Berkeley but spent every summer at her aunt and uncle's ranch near Ukiah, riding horses, learning to cook on a woodstove and helping with chores. She also learned to drive there on the farm tractor, unfortunately knocking down her aunt's favorite peach tree in the process.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, Ginny worked in San Francisco, commuting daily by ferry. She met the love of her life, C. Harvey Barker, in 1943 at her best friend's wedding where she was the maid of honor and he the best man, on leave from naval duties in the Pacific. Despite Harvey's being from Massachusetts and their long-distance WWII romance, they married in 1945 and Ginny left California for the East Coast where Harvey was stationed in Arlington, VA. They lived in Salem, Mass. for 16 years, where they owned a popular Howard Johnson's restaurant and raised two children. But Ginny never stopped missing California and in 1958 she sent Harv out to take a look. He fell in love with Santa Barbara, promptly bought a house in Hope Ranch and moved the family here. Their children will be forever grateful that she talked him out of retiring to Florida.
Ginny and Harvey immediately joined La Cumbre Golf & Country Club and learned to play golf; joined the yacht club and explored the coast in the boat they'd brought from back east; and immersed themselves in Santa Barbara life. Over the years, Ginny was an active member of the Children's Home Society, Assistance League, and PEO. She and Harv loved entertaining friends, and they took many golfing trips abroad. After Harv's death in 1985, Ginny traveled extensively, eventually visiting almost 100 countries. She delighted in experiencing and photographing the world and her home was filled with mementos from her travels.
Ginny was an avid reader; she played golf, bridge, the piano and organ; and she completed countless pieces of fine needlework. She also loved meeting friends for lunch at La Cumbre, where she had been a member for 55 years. She continued to do the daily crossword puzzle and play bridge until shortly before her death.