Jane Ellen Ford Barker, 93

Dec 11, 2023
Jane Ellen Ford Barker of Marion, Massachusetts passed away peacefully on December 7, 2023. Jane, the daughter of William Blanchard Ford and Elizabeth Castle Ford, was born on December 28, 1929 in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated from Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA in 1947, and attended Connecticut College in New London, CT. Charlie Ford, Jane's older brother, introduced her to a Tabor friend in 1944. The story is that it was love at first sight for Charlie's friend, David Bent Barker and Jane Ford. They married in 1950, and had a long happy marriage of 67 years focused on love of family....and lots of sailing. Life in the Barker household in Essex, CT and Duxbury, MA with four children was a happy, noisy, welcoming and loving environment. Jane was a gracious hostess, who delighted in setting a beautiful dinner table with sparkling crystal and silver, not only on special holidays, but also when family and friends gathered. All family gatherings were special for Jane.

Jane is a descendent of a lineage of Searsport, Maine sea captains, so sailing in Maine and staying at the family camp "Hathorn Point" in St. George, ME on the St. George River was their summer retreat in retirement years. Jane and Dave welcomed a steady stream of family members and guests to enjoy cooked lobster feasts on an open fire or on the soapstone top of a wood stove.

A talented and resourceful seamstress, Jane sewed boat cushion covers, curtains, awnings, clothes, hats, bedspreads, etc ......anything that would prevent her from shopping or spending money!

The Barkers' involvement with Tabor Academy began in 1942 and still continues. They attended almost every sports game for all three seasons, their boys, David Jr. and Charlie played at Tabor during the 1970s. The Barkers always had the biggest crowd and the best tailgating fare. When David, Jr. and Charlie graduated from Tabor, the Barkers followed their children's college teams. In 1983 Dave and Jane built a house on 15 Ryder Lane in Marion, where Jane lived until her passing. The years in Marion were filled with Dave's 27-year involvement on the Tabor Board of Trustees with Jane his greatest supporter welcoming alumni to their house. Their bird's eye view of the Tabor playing fields allowed them to still be spectators of TA sports in their older years. Jane and Dave had an opportunity to join a student crew on the Tabor Boy for a cruise to the Bahamas. They made it clear that they did not want to be treated any differently than the students onboard, and worked alongside the students. It was "all hands on deck" in their roles on boats and also in life with their four children and families.

On chartered or friends' vessels Jane and Dave explored the Danish Islands, the Virgin Islands and the Lesser Antilles. During their retirement years they cruised the east coast of North America on one of their vessels named "Barcarolle" exploring

Chesapeake Bay to New England, Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Bras D'Or Lakes, the island of St. Pierre (France) and the south coast of Newfoundland.

Jane was predeceased by her husband, David Bent Barker, Sr. in 2016. She was the loving mother of Hillery Barker Tura (David) of Groton, CT, Wendy Barker of Marstons Mills, MA, David Bent Barker, Jr. (Lynne) of Mattapoisett, MA and Jupiter, FLA, and Charles Ford Barker (Ann) of Kennebunk, ME. Jane was affectionately called Gooney or Nana by her five grandchildren, Hunter (Kathleen), Abby (Mark), Ford (Elizabeth), Tim (Meghan), Kaitlyn (Jon) and her ten great -grandchildren and 2 step great-grandchildren. Any visit from children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren involved much "cooing" from Jane with the little ones and undivided attention for the older children with total focus and sincere interest in their lives.

In lieu of flowers contributions in Jane's memory to The Jane Ford Barker Book Fund would be welcome at Elizabeth Taber Library, 8 Spring Street, Marion MA 02738.

Private arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett. For online guestbook, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.