Haverhill, MA — Harry J. “Joe” Barker Jr., 78, a native and resident of the city for most of his life, died on Monday morning, April 7, 2014, at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, with family members by his side.
Born in the Bradford section of Haverhill, he was the son of the late Harry J. and Eleanor (Maguire) Barker. He was raised in Bradford and attended Sacred Hearts Grammar School, and was a former member of Sacred Hearts Parish. A member of the Sacred Hearts Troop of the Lone Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America, he was a recipient of the Ad Altare Dei Medal. A graduate of Lawrence Central Catholic High School in 1954, Joe went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in 1959.
From 1961 until 1982, he owned and operated Roche Pharmacy, a landmark business in the Monument Square section of Haverhill. He was later employed in quality control at Textron for 25 years, and at Shamrock Liquors of Haverhill. He also worked at the Groton Pharmacy for several years, and as an instructor in pharmacology at Northern Essex Community College.
A member of All Saints Parish and the former Saint Joseph Parish, Joe served as a volunteer parent for Troop 27 of Lone Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also was a volunteer at the Buttonwoods Museum and served on the board of directors of the Haverhill Historical Society and as a volunteer counselor in the offices of Dr. Saul Silverman, Ph.D. In his later years, he was a volunteer at Sarah’s Place in Haverhill.
An avid hiker, Joe climbed all the mountains in the Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and scaled the summit of Mount Washington several times. His passion for hiking instilled a love of mountain climbing in many of his family members and friends. A longtime observer of the local weather conditions, he maintained an amateur weather station at his home, and also enjoyed model building, furniture building and refinishing. He successfully remodeled the 100-year-old home that he and his wife purchased in 1977. An avid fan of all Boston sports teams, he was a longtime member of the Jackson Club of Haverhill and the Massachusetts Pharmacist Association. He also was a 10-year supporter of the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, and enjoyed traveling with his wife across the United States and Europe.