Ruth Barker, 93

Ruth Alberta Barker, 93, of River Forest, died early Christmas morning, 2020. Born on March 18, 1927 in West Suburban Hospital to Gustav and Albertina Litke, she was baptized at St. John Lutheran in Forest Park and attended elementary school there, as did her future husband, in the grade ahead of her. She graduated from Proviso East High School in 1945 and began secretarial work at Hines Veterans Hospital. Jim Sr. finally caught her eye in the choir loft, and they married at St. John on Feb. 3, 1951. They moved into a bungalow in Forest Park and started their family. 

The family moved to River Forest in 1964. Ruth was active in the St. John Altar Guild, sewing Chrismons for the church Christmas trees. She had a robust and loyal circle of friends too. The pinochle club was her “girls club.” She shared adventures on beaches, at Cubs’ field, and at each other’s homes. In her late 70s, she found a beautiful new church home at Grace Lutheran. She supported her church, her kids, her friends, her neighbors and her husband.

Ruth is survived by James W. Barker, her husband of 69 years; her sons Lloyd (Mary Kay), and James Jr. (Suzanne); her daughter, Jane (Melinda Haag); her granddaughters Melissa Bobinski (Josh), Julie Lietz (Greg), and Anne Barker; her great-granddaughters Kherington Bobinski and Lindsey Jo Bobinski; and many nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends to whom she extended her love and kindness over the years. 

Private services were held at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, followed by burial in Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park. In lieu of flowers, donations to Grace Lutheran Church ( are appreciated. 

Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Join the discussion on social media!