John “Rex” Barker

John “Rex” Barker

John “Rex” Barker


John “Rex” Barker, age 95, of Hiawatha, Iowa, died at his home surrounded by family on October 23, 2023. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 30, 2023, at Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Cedar Rapids, with a visitation one hour prior. Burial: Shiloh Cemetery, Hiawatha.

The son of Roy and Mary (Martin) Barker, Rex was born December 1, 1927, at his family home in Willmathsville, Missouri, with an identical twin brother, Ray (deceased). Rex’s father and half-brother owned and operated BARKER’S Garage in Brashear, Missouri, and this is where he learned the automotive business. Rex enlisted in the Coast Guard Merchant Marine during World War II when he was 16. Upon his discharge, he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret (Hayden) Barker (deceased), and they settled in Hiawatha where Rex continued his automotive career and they raised their three children: Larry, Gloria and J.B. (deceased). Rex was a very active member of Buffalo United Methodist Church and enjoyed sharing his faith by leading the youth group there. He was a Shriner since 1957.

Rex started his own BARKER Garage in Hiawatha where he built a family home and worked out of his home garage, eventually building a new commercial garage on Blairs Ferry Road in Hiawatha where he repaired and sold vehicles, operated a salvage yard, a truck line and car crushing operation. When I-380 was built it was located through his business and he decided to retire to farming and purchased several farms around Cedar Rapids. He always wanted to move back to his roots in Missouri and farm and so he purchased a farm near Bloomfield, lowa, where he renovated a family home and operated a large farming and livestock operation. His last move was to a 40-acre home near Fairfield where he enjoyed fishing in his two ponds, mowing and finally doing the things he never had time for.

Rex was preceded in death by his mother and father; his twin brother, Ray; his brother, Dale; his half-siblings, Fred and Freda; his son, J.B.; his grandson, Larry Barker, Jr; and daughter-in-law, Ida Barker.

He is survived by his son, Larry (Vicky) Barker; his daughter, Gloria Clinton; beloved grandson, Jamie Turpin; two sisters, Ruth Storts and Ava Swafford; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Memorials may be made to Buffalo United Methodist Church or the Shriner’s Childrens Hospital.

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