Memorable Manitobans: James Henry “Jim” Barker (1930-2005)
Military pilot, community activist.
Born at Chicago, Illinois on 5 February 1930, he was a son of Cecil Henry Barker (1899-1989), originally of Dauphin, and Mabel Beatrice Caldwell (1904-2000), originally of Elkhorn. He served in the US Marine Corps from 1947 to 1949 and was discharged as a Corporal. He came to Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1951 as a pilot trainee. He served with the rank of Flying Officer as a flying instructor at Claresholm, Alberta, and then as an interceptor pilot on 425 and 416 (AWF) squadrons operating CF 100 aircraft out of St. Hubert, Quebec. In 1958, he transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy with the rank of Lieutenant (P) and qualified as a carrier pilot on HMCS Bonaventure. He joined VF 870 squadron, operating F2H3 Banshee jet fighters from the Bonaventure. In 1962, he was retired from the Navy with a physical disability that ended his flying career.
He went back to school and, in 1965, was awarded an associate degree in Electronic Engineering. He went to work for Johnson Controls, a company with a long history and headquartered in Cork, Ireland with various international subsidiaries producing fire, HVAC, and security equipment for buildings across six continents. For the next 20 years, he was the project manager for his company on large construction projects in Canada, the US, Australia, Hong Kong, and England. He retired in 1985, and after a few years living in Europe, moved to Dauphin in 1990. While living there he was elected to a term on the town council. He was also prominent in the Reform Party of Canada, serving on the constituency and national boards of directors. In 2000, he moved to Florida, but returned to Dauphin in March 2005.
He died at Dauphin on 11 September 2005. His remains were sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and interred at sea by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 September 2005.
“James H. Barker”, Jean’s Tree, Ancestry.
“About Us – Our Company,” Johnson Controls.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 9 August 2021