Shirley's Story

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Shirley Tompkins Barker, age 88 of Corbin, passed away Sunday, May 21, 2017, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Corbin, on April 14, 1929, she was the daughter of William W. (Bill) and Bessie Messer Tompkins. She married Randall D. Barker on Nov. 28, 1952. She was a graduate of Cumberland College and Eastern State Teacher's College, also earning her Master's Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. She taught for over 30 years in the Fleming-Neon, Knox County, and Corbin City School districts.
Shirley taught fifth-grade for many years in the Corbin City School District. Her field trips to Mammoth Cave, and "Friday Letters" are remembered by many of her former students. She was a life-long member of Central Baptist Church, and worked in the Bed Baby Department for over 50 years. She was a proud member of the National Education Association and the Corbin Education Association, of which she was president for many years. She loved cats and dogs, was an avid reader and collector of books (especially unusual ABC books) and antiques. Her favorite outings were to antique stores, flea markets and yard sales. She was a wonderful "Grammie" to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Savannah Lou Strange, a brother, James Tompkins, and a sister, Helen Tompkins Mullins Martin.
She is survived by daughters, Cindy (Don) Creech, Corbin; Keely (Burney) Wood, Friendswood, Texas; and Lorie (Mike) Strange, Dublin, Ohio; grandchildren, Kevin (Scarlett) Wood, and great-granddaughter, Wesleigh Anne, Houston, Texas; Dr. Christopher Wood, Cleveland, Ohio; Mackenzie (Matt) Strickland, and great-grandsons, Caleb and Andrew; Mollie Creech, Corbin; Kelsey (Spencer) Sledge, Houston, Texas; Joshua Strange, Lexington; Samantha Strange and Suzannah Strange, Dublin, Ohio; sister, Judy (George) Grove, Corbin; brother, Gene (Nancy) Tompkins, Avon Park, Florida; sisters-in-law Kay (Dave) Sphar, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; and Winston King (Bob) New, Sidney, Ohio, and brother-in-law, MSGT/Ret James (Betty) Barker, Bishopville, SC; along with several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and a host of other relatives and friends to mourn her passing.
Visitation will be Thursday, May 25, from 6-8 p.m., and Friday, May 26, from 2-4 p.m. at O'Neil-Lawson Funeral Home, Corbin. Funeral Services will be at 4 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2017 at O'Neil - Lawson Funeral Home Chapel, with Dr. Don Mathis and Pastor Chad Fugitt officiating. Music will be provided by Ron Green. Burial will be at McFarland Cemetery, with Don Creech, Matt Strickland, Burney Wood, Mike Strange, Joshua Strange, and Jonathan Grove serving as pallbears.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Central Baptist Church Manger Ministry, 201 W. 4th St., Corbin, KY 40701, or to the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter (kwas.org), 66 Busy Lane, Corbin, KY 40701.
O'Neil-Lawson Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.
Published on May 23, 2017
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