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William Barker

August 03, 1941 - June 03, 2020

Prayer Service - Wednesday

June 10, 2020
- 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Visitation - Wednesday

June 10, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Funeral Mass - Thursday

June 11, 2020
- 11:00 AM

Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo

Interment - Thursday

June 11, 2020

Holy Cross Cemetery North, Fargo


Boulger Funeral Home

William Barker

August 03, 1941 - June 03, 2020


William “Bill” Barker, 78, Fargo passed away Wednesday, June 3, 2020 under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley, Fargo and his caregiver Mohammed Sheriff.

Bill was born August 3, 1941 in Larned, KS to Clarence and Winifred (Barnes) Barker. He graduated from Pratt Kansas High School before attending Emporia State College where he graduated with a degree in Botany in 1961. He also obtained his master’s degree while at Emporia State. He went on to the receive his PhD in Botany from the University of Kansas in 1968.

He married Sharon Betsworth on September 8, 1962 in Hugoton, KS.

He started his career at NDSU in 1968 in the Botany Department. He contributed to the “Flora of the Great Plains,” published by the University of Kansas. He was proud to continue his entire career at NDSU, retiring in 2008. He only missed a Bison Football Game twice in his life, one including his daughter’s wedding. His love for his students and athletes, where he was an advisor for many student athletes gave him so much joy throughout his working career.

He was very active in the Fargo Babe Ruth baseball program where he also served as President. He was a long-time member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church and was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He loved spending time outdoors, fishing and hunting and being able to spend quality time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He will be missed by those he leaves behind.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Sharon, Fargo; children, Clarence (Alice) Barker, Sioux Falls, SD, Sandra (Jason) Jaeger, Fargo, ND; grandchildren, Eric Barker, Kaylee Barker, Jack Jaeger, Joey Jaeger, Ryan Bosch; sister, Kathelia Baldwin, Wichita, KS, and brother, Dennis Barker, Shelby, MT.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Josh Bosch.

Prayer Service: 7:00 P.M. Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 6:00 P.M.

Funeral Mass: 11:00 A.M. Thursday, June 11, 2020 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo. Please bring your own mask to be worn at the church.

Interment: Holy Cross Cemetery North, Fargo.

Bill’s Live Streamed Funeral Mass can be viewed via the following link starting on Thursday at 11:00 A.M.:



Bill’s Live Streamed Prayer Service can be viewed below starting at 6:45 P.M. today:

Bill’s Video Tribute can be viewed below:


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23 responses to “William Barker”

  1. Linda Oldoren says:

    Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Barker. Sharon, you and family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Donna Nalewaja says:

    My deepest sympathy to Bill’s family. He was an outstanding professor my children have told me. He was a great addition to the NDSU faculty.

  3. Darragh KillileaWicks says:

    Our sincerest condolences to Sharon, Sandra, Clarence and family. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
    Love and God Bless you all,
    Eithnea, Derek, Darragh, Shadde and family

  4. Curt Palmer says:

    Such a well lived life. Dedication to become a Botanist, teacher for 40 years, and married to the love of his life for FIFTY EIGHT YEARS!! That’s what I call living life. There’s a lot of people touched over those years and the impact on them will endure for many more years. Cherish and celebrate those memories, they are very special as was this man. Rest In Peace Mr. Barker.

  5. Milt Mitzel says:

    Bill was my dad’s best friend. He was a good man, very knowledgeable, and respected by many. Our sympathy to Sharon and family.
    Milt Mitzel

  6. Kelly Lancaster says:

    What a great example of how to live and love. His family meant the world to him and he always seemed to know how you were doing in your sport when he talked to you. He made you feel special because you knew he cared about you. Bill was a pillar of the community and supportive of so many activities in the area. He will be missed!

  7. Jerry Lingen says:

    Sharon, Clarence & Sandra, my thoughts andwith prayers are with you at this time of your loss.
    I really enjoyed Bill as a fellow staff member at NDSU, and as a friend. I wish I could be at the funeral, but because of my health I am pretty vulnerable to this epidemic, so have been staying
    close to home. I especially enjoyed working with Bill for the Babe Ruth Baseball program in Fargo.
    It was a great pleasure for me to coach Clarence during his Babe Ruth Badeball career. My best to the family.

    Jerry Lingen

  8. Leo Lantz says:

    Dr.Barker was one of the finest and kindest men that I have ever known.God bless you sir and your dear wife,family and friends.

  9. Niki Dahl says:

    Sharon & family,
    So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. He was a great professor at NDSU, and were so grateful for his botany instruction. We still reminisce about our years working for him in the summer & how we met working on two different range crews at Streeter.
    Our sympathies,
    Jack & Niki

  10. Pat & Tom Croat says:

    Bill was a wonderful man, a great friend and an interesting character. We loved the time we spent with you over the years, He is with Jesus.

    Sharon, God bless you as you go through this difficult time. Stay strong and stay in touch,

    Much love

  11. Harriett Light says:

    My memories of Bill at NDSU go back many years. He was a highly respected scientist, researcher, teacher and graduate student advisor. One memory stands out above all others. During graduation ceremonies every year I was seated next to Bil (we joined the faculty at he same time and held same rank)l and he knew every one of the students in agriculture! Not only did he know them, he knew ABOUt them – their goals, talents, and other meanings facts about his students…and he gave a “shout out” to each one as they crossed the stage.Bill’ devotion to his students was so very remarkable.

    My love and caring to you, Sharon, and to you Sandra and to you Clearance.

  12. Tom Lantz says:

    Dr. Bill Barker was a dear friend to all of my family.
    He was always the first person to volunteer his assistance when anyone needed some help. His charisma, kindness, and subtle wit which rubbed off on all who was around him, is what i will remember most about Bill. I had the wonderful experiences throughout my life interacting with him through hockey, baseball, jr. high science fairs, fishing on Lake of the woods and Ash River, goose hunting at Rolla ND, and deer hunting many years at Kindred, ND.

  13. Pat and Ray Meier says:

    What a wonderful man and example of love and care for his family and perseverance over years of challenges. Sharon I hope you take strength in the coming days from what he showed in his last years. I do know how hard it was. Take care of yourself now and use the days ahead to shower love on Sandra and your grandkids. Love to you all!!

  14. Kenneth L Hall says:

    Bill was one of my main professors when I attended NDSU as an OTA student. He was dedicated to his work and helpful to everyone who sought his time. I was honored to be his student and studied hard to get good grades in his classes. Condolences to his family and many friends.

  15. DuaneBerglund says:

    My deepest sympathy to the Barker family! Bill was one of my professors for my graduate studies!
    He was kind and very knowledgeable! He served on my graduate committee’s. Such a kind man!
    May he Rest In Peace with our Lord!!❤️✝️🙏

  16. Wendy Royal says:

    I’m sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. My dad considered Bill a great friend. My sincere sympathy to Sharon, Sandra and Chip. God bless you during this difficult time.

  17. Amy Ruley says:

    I am sorry to learn of Bill’s passing. He was a wonderful instructor, person and leader at NDSU. I always enjoyed visiting with him on campus and was impressed by his knowledge of so many people and particularly the student athletes. He lived an exemplary life as an educator and person.
    God bless Bill and his family.

  18. Paul Berg says:

    Sharon and family:
    Please accept Shirley and my condolences. We will be unable to attend the services as Shirley’s health limits our social activities during this time.

  19. Eithnea M Killilea says:

    A beautiful Prayer Service. Rest in Peace Bill.

  20. George & Annette LaPalm says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Sharon and Sandra and her family. May Bill rest in peace and rise in glory.

  21. Ed (Bub) and Judy Barker says:

    Bill was like a big brother to me while we were growing up. Our families were so close in Pratt while we were growing up. You will be missed but I will see you again. Until then, know that we love you. Sharron, I will call a little later.

  22. Macy Miller/ Kathelia Baldwin says:

    We so appreciate this ability to join this memorial online. Thank you!

  23. Sue Hendrickson says:

    I am very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Such a wonderful, commitedt, dedicated husband and father. My sympathies to your entire family.

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