Obituary of Robert Barker
Robert Cornell Barker, 88, of Charlotte, NC, passed away on Friday, December 14, 2018, at Elliotte Manor Assisted Living Center with his family by his side.
Born on July 9, 1930, in Buffalo, NY, he was the son of the late William Robert and the late Laura (Ronan) Barker. Robert graduated from Yale University School of Music with Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He served in the United States Air Force from 1953 to 1961, traveling extensively with the Singing Sargents. He married Joan Aileen Smith on August 4, 1956, at Grace Methodist Church in Corning, NY.
Robert performed as Principal Clarinet with the Richmond Symphony in Virginia for 21 years from its inception in 1956 to October 1978. He also performed with the Richmond Sinfonia and the Richmond Woodwind Quintet for many years during the same period of time. Robert enjoyed teaching clarinet, flute and saxophone students at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Collegiate School in Henrico, VA, and many private students in his home over the years. He inspired a love of music in his three daughters. Robert was a member of and attended Westhampton United Methodist Church in Richmond during his years in Virginia.
Robert is survived by his loving wife, Joan Smith Barker of Charlotte, NC; three daughters: Elizabeth B. Willett (Thomas) of Salem, VA; Laura B. Phillips (Edward) of Hesperia, CA; and Roberta B. Arrington (Mark) of Charlotte, NC; eight grandchildren: Kristen Willett, Erin Willett, Ryan Willett; Gary Phillips, Jennifer P. Bianchi (Dom); Robert Arrington (Andrea), David Arrington, Daniel Arrington; and one great-granddaughter, Lily Joy Arrington.
Family and friends are invited to call on Thursday, December 20, 2018, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at Phillips Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 17 W. Pulteney Street, Corning, NY. A funeral service will immediately follow at 1:00 pm, Pastor Andrea Arrington and Rev. Robert Arrington officiating. Burial with full military honors will take place at the family plot in Hope Cemetery, Corning, NY.
In lieu of flowers donations in Robert’s name may be sent to: Yale University School of Music, Post Office Box 208310, New Haven, CT 06520-8310 or Westhampton United Methodist Church, 6100 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23226.