Father Joseph F. Barker

Father Joseph F. Barker

Father Joseph F. Barker, 96, died on April 4 at the Teresian House in Albany.

Born on March 21, 1928, in Troy, Father Barker was the son of Irish and English immigrants Joseph V. and Kathleen M. (O’Connell) Barker. His earliest years were spent in Troy, where he received his primary education at St. Mary’s School. His family later relocated to the South End of Albany, and he completed his education at St. Ann’s Academy. Father Barker attended St. Andrew’s Minor Seminary in Rochester for two years and was then assigned to Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University for philosophy and theology studies. In 1949, he received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University. He also completed sabbatical studies at the North American College in Rome, Italy, in the autumn of 1977.

Father Barker was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Edmund F. Gibbons, sixth Bishop of Albany, on May 30, 1953, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Father Barker’s first assignment was at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Troy from July 1953 to September 1956. He then served at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Troy from September 1956 to June 1966 and, during that time, was chaplain at Samaritan Hospital in Troy. Father Barker was assigned to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Schenectady from June 1966 to June 1969 and was the administrator of that parish from June 1967 to June 1969. He was named pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Little Falls in June 1969 and served there until July 1976. He was also the Dean of Herkimer County from September 1969 to September 1975. Father Barker was named pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Johnstown in July 1976 and served there until June 30, 1998. He was also Dean of Fulton County from 1985-98. Father Barker retired on July 1, 1998, and resided at St. Francis de Sales Rectory and Our Lady of Victory Rectory, both in Troy, before moving to the Teresian House in 2017.

In addition to his various assignments, Father Barker also held several diocesan offices that included: Vice President of the first Priests’ Senate, member of the first Priests’ Personnel Board, the Parish Assessment Review Board, and the Priests’ Retirement Board. In Father Barker’s spare time he enjoyed antiquing, vacationing winters in Florida, and most especially, spending time in the summer at the family camp on Forest Lake.

In addition to his parents, Father Barker was predeceased by his twin brother, William P. (late Maureen) Barker. He is survived by his devoted niece, Anne Barker Martin, and her husband, Richard J., of Clifton Park; devoted nephew, Joseph P. Barker of Latham; his great-niece, Elise Gregory and her husband, Justin; great-nephew and best pal, Riley Barker; great-niece, Julia Barker; and great-great nieces, Nora and Cate Gregory all of Latham; as well as several cousins. The family would like to thank the exceptional staff on the first floor of Mount Carmel East at the Teresian House, who cared for our uncle. Your kindness and compassion will not be forgotten.

In remembrance, please consider a contribution to the St. Bonaventure University Friar Fund, University Advancement, P.O. Box 2519, St. Bonaventure, N.Y., 14778, or to the Center for Disability Services, 314 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, N.Y., 12208, in honor of Father Barker’s beloved nephew, Riley.

Father Barker’s funeral Mass was concelebrated on April 8 at Our Lady of Victory Church in Troy and the Rite of Committal and interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Troy.