Jane Alexander Barker, Born in Manhattan, New York on February 20, 1916, departed on December 10, 2010 and resided in Monterey, California. Jane Alexander Barker, 94, died Dec 10, 2010 in Monterey, California, with her family close at hand.
Born in Manhattan, New York on February 20, 1916, Jane was the first born child of Lena Weissenborn Alexander and Elliot Ritchie Alexander. As a child, Jane’s family moved quite frequently, spending time in Kansas City, Missouri, Miami Beach, Florida, New Orleans, and then Orlando, Florida. From the time that Jane was 8 years old, her family started spending summers at Walloon Lake, Michigan. Her father bought a cottage there, and Jane returned to Walloon Lake every summer for the rest of her childhood. In her memoirs, she says that most of her fondest childhood memories were set at Walloon, and it continued to be the place she most equated with “home.”
In 1936 Jane graduated from Brenau College in Georgia and then got her teaching certificate at the University of Florida. She taught 2nd grade at Delaney Elementary School in Orlando, FL, and loved teaching. During this time Jane met her husband, Roger Atmar Barker, while at a party playing hide-and-go-seek. After nearly two years of courtship, she married him on June 23, 1939, and they settled in a house they built on Baylarian Boulevard in Orlando. During the war years, Jane and her growing family followed Roger first to Camp Forrest, Tennessee, and then to Decatur, Georgia. However as soon as the war was over, Jane and Roger moved back to Orlando with their three young children.
Jane’s life was filled both with sorrow and joy during this time. Her third child, Jimmy, drowned when he was just 16 months old, and her brother Elliot and his wife died in a plane crash just a few years later, leaving two boys behind. Jane and Roger adopted them both into their large family – now six children strong. Jane and Roger had a varied outdoor life with their large family. They started going back to Walloon Lake every summer after their children were old enough to manage the long car ride from Orlando, and they spent many vacations fishing together. Jane also enjoyed spending many hours on hand work – knitting, needle pointing, sewing, weaving, and embroidering. Jane enjoyed volunteering for local elections until Roger became Orange County Judge and he and his family were no longer allowed to participate. She also volunteered for sixteen years as a Girl Scout leader and council member, and served as a member and one-time president of the Orange Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the “pink ladies,” with which she earned her 3500 hour volunteer pin.
Jane was very active with her church, leading Bible study groups for most of her life, and working with the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando to start their Infant Care Center, an achievement for which she was always very proud. She continued volunteering with the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd after moving to Carmel Valley, CA four years ago. In the latter years of her life Jane was an enthusiastic follower and supporter of the lives and careers of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She also enjoyed listening to different kinds of music (country to classical) on her ipod, reading novels on her kindle, and tasting morsels of dark chocolate that she kept in a bag that was always close by.
Jane was preceded in death by father Elliot Ritchie Alexander, mother Lena Weissenborn Alexander, grandparents James Ritchie Alexander, Sara Amanda Van der Hoeff Alexander, Martin Weissenborn, Mary Robrecht Weissenborn, brother Elliot Alexander, husband Roger Atmar Barker, son James Elliot Barker, and son-in-law Frederick Butler Carter. Jane is survived by her daughter Beverly Barker Carter, her sons John Barker, Lee Alexander, Mark Alexander, Walter Barker, and Andrew Barker, daughters-in-law Jill Barker, Elaine Alexander, Nancy Alexander, Pam Barker, and Lisa Ayrault, grandchildren James “Kimo” Carter, Brian Carter, Caroline Carter Roth, Danny Barker, Ian Barker, Jenny Barker, Elliot Alexander, Amy Alexander Forte, Jamie Alexander, Drew Alexander, Cory Alexander, Mariah Barker, Ivar Barker, Caitlin Barker, and Hallie Barker, and great grandchildren Devon Carter, Jackson Carter, Julian Roth, Daisy Roth, and Alexander Forte.
A memorial service was held on December 14, 2010 at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 301 Corral De Tierra Rd, Salinas, CA. The family is also planning to hold a service in Orlando sometime in mid-January at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, 106 East Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801.
Listen to oral history interview below with Jane’s husband Judge Roger A. Barker conducted on March 6, 1993.
LISTEN Part I (46:33)
LISTEN Part II (46:26)
LISTEN Part III (36:19)
Judge Roger A. Barker Part 2
Judge Roger A. Barker Part 3