Christine McConnell Barker passed away on October 18th, 2021 after a brief illness. A strikingly beautiful and charming woman, she was as brilliant as she was beautiful. She graduated with honors in both marketing and nursing, all while doing the lioness' share of child-rearing and domestic work. After her first degree, she went to a firm to get a job with her marketing degree and was told they weren't hiring secretaries, which was not the exciting financial career she had envisioned. So she pursued the challenging and noble, but more traditional field of nursing, and naturally excelled at that as well. She worked at Indian Path Hospital, then at Tennessee Eastman Chemical Company for most of her career, where she enjoyed her work and made many close friends in the process.
She was a devoted and loving wife to Wayne Barker, missing him profoundly after his death 9 months prior to hers. She was the kind of mother who raised two strong daughters, emphasizing the importance of a career and the ability to be financially independent, while modeling a love of reading and music. She loved travel and cats, going all over the world with Wayne, but always feeling bad leaving the cats at home. She was a giver, perpetually baking for friends, driving distant relatives with no close family to appointments, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. She was also an avid gardener, somehow becoming a Master Gardener between work and kids, and using those skills volunteering in the Exchange Place gardens as well as at home.
Because she cared so much and was paying attention, Christine was very involved in her children's lives and often had strong but subtly delivered opinions. And the thing is, she was usually right. So if she's rearranging the harps and trying to get everyone to wear belts with their flowing robes in the afterlife now, I hope they're going with it. She's probably right. And no doubt, Wayne is at her side, supporting her agenda and blissfully happy to have her back with him.
Christine is deeply missed by her daughters, Cathie Burgin and Cynthia Cox; her granddaughter, Sarah Cox; her step-granddaughter Abby Hardt; her sons-in-law Jack Burgin and Duncan Cox; her brother Walton McConnell and brother-in-law Tom Palmer and their families; and many more whom she touched with her wit, warm smile, and caring friendship.
Befitting their long and happy lives together, a memorial service for both Christine and Wayne Barker will be held at Hamlett Dobson funeral home on Tuesday, March 15th at 2:00 to celebrate their lives and share memories of them. Please wear a mask if you plan to attend.