Rosemary Barker

Born: Milburn on 07 May 1925

Passed away: Grand Rapids on 19 February 2020

Aged: 94 years

The Story

Rosemary Virginia Barker became a new bright star in the sky when she left this world for a better one on February 19, 2020 at the Oaks at Cascade in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the wife of the late Robert L. Barker.
Rosemary was born on May 7, 1925 in Milburn, West Virginia. Although she lived in Chicago, Mexico, Milwaukee and Houston, West Virginia always held a special place in her heart.
The most important things in her life were her family, her friends and her cats. She welcomed everyone in her home and provided shelter and support for those in need. She let people stay with her when they didn't have a home, she fed hungry friends and neighbors and even strangers and gave everything she could for people. She loved her children more than life itself and would do anything for them always. With her periwinkle blue eyes and beautiful smile, she charmed everyone. And oh, she was smart as well as beautiful! She graduated salutatorian of her high school class and solved crossword puzzles well into her 90's.
She is survived by, and remembered lovingly by, her son Mack L. Smith and wife Marie-Anne, and her daughter Barbara Joe Stevens and husband Vance of Malaysia. She is also survived by her two grandsons, Glenn Royer Stevens and his wife Gulya Obokolova and Dustin Keahi Stevens and wife Michelle Daniel, great grand-daughter Gwen Rosemaria and great grand-son Kai Daniel. She will be sadly missed but we are better for having her in our lives.
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A song used in Spanish culture to say farewell. One of mom's and Grandma's favorites. My sister is named after the singer. Rocio Durcal. Last line... Sooner or later ... We'll be together so we can keep on LOVING ONE ANOTHER!

Daniel Villarreal shared a video.


Mom used to sing "Peace in the Valley" with our aunts. They harmonized so beautifully.

Barbara Stevens shared a video.


There is a bright new star in sky and it’s Mom, watching over us just like she said she would. Rosemary Barker, my Mom, was my best friend, my biggest fan, and my port in any storm. The best qualities in me I got from her, although I could never be close to being the kind and generous person she was. But I’ll try, I’ll try harder to fill those shoes. She fought fiercely to be here for us, for almost 95 years, thru pain and hardships. She didn’t want to let go because we needed her. It’s o.k. Mom, to rest now. We’ll be o.k. because you will always be with us.

Everyone you met loved you. You filled the room. People just naturally gravitated towards you. You made babies smile. You could get hugs from the most rebellious and hard to reach teenager. Waiters in restaurants fought to get your table - you were always polite, friendly, a generous tipper but most of all you made everyone feel that wherever they came from, no matter what they had, or their history - they were more than enough for you. You wanted to know their story and shared yours.

You always wanted to win the lottery. But not for you - you always said you were satisfied with what you had. You ticked off all the people you would help if you won the lottery - family, friends, neighbors. I didn't need the lottery because I already won. I won the lottery of the best Mom anyone could ever ask for.

Am I hurting? Yes I miss you! So many times something happens and I think oh, I'll tell Mom about this. But although your body is not here, I might tell you things anyway. You'll listen, you'll hear, and you'll understand. Because your spirit will never leave me.
Mom, have fun with the angels. I bet you can dance now, hear music and laugh. And sometimes I close my eyes and see you dance, hear your laugh, and see you smile. And that will get me through.

Barbara Stevens


A truly wonderful person has joined the Heaven community and leaves us with memories to comfort us. But, oh, what beautiful memories we have to cherish! I remember first meeting your mom, Rosemary, back in our college days. I spent many nights at your house, where , along with your mom, we talked, laughed, and had a great time together. I remember how Rosemary would give us advice, when we asked, on college life, dating, and other bumps on life's road. We laughed (a lot!) and we planned our next adventures or plots to execute. I have never met a more caring, fun loving, empathetic, and humorous individual. Thankfully, you, Bobbi, have inherited these positive traits and practice them today. Hopefully, you have passed these on to your children and eventually, to your grandchildren, so Rosemary will live forever this way. Also, I pray that all the pleasant and humorous memories of Rosemary will comfort you and your family and lighten your sorrowful distress. Rosemary's legacy and memory continues and her star will shine brightly through all of her family. I was blessed to know her and my life is richer for having shared a brief time with her. Thanks for sharing your mother with me and as Bob Hope sang, Rosemary, "thanks for the memories!"

Linda Benz Thielepape