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He Did Not Go Home Alone, Hundreds Attend Korean War Veteran’s Funeral Thursday

Photo Courtesy Phil Dickerson

Just days ago, 94-year-old Korean War veteran Allister Barker was set to be laid to rest with no family in attendance.

After learning from a reader that Mr. Barker would have an unattended funeral, we shared the information with our Facebook family. Within seconds of us posting the information hundreds of our readers began reacting.  As the post began to go viral we started to see that military groups, bikers, first responders and those in the community were organizing something big.

What we didn’t know at the time was that when Mr. Barker recently fell ill and passed away, former New Castle County Police Spokesperson S/Cpl Tracy Duffy learned that Mr. Barker was a veteran and wanted to make sure that he had a military burial. Finding no records of his service, Duffy worked with the funeral home to try and locate his records. Finding nothing locally, Duffy and the funeral home asked the military to do a broader search.  When the military got back to them they learned that Mr. Barker’s records had been destroyed in a fire, however, they were able to determine that he was honorably discharged and was eligible for burial at the  Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

On Thursday morning it became apparent that many in the community would attend Mr. Barker’s funeral and that he would not go home alone. By the time that Mr. Barker arrived at the cemetery with a police escort, hundreds of people had already arrived to pay their respects. Vehicles were packed in on both sides of the road leading the cemetery, law enforcement and firefighters stood at attention and saluted the procession as it passed under a large flag hanging between two ladder trucks.

Mr. Barker received a full military funeral with hundreds in attendance, including local officials, firefighters from across the state, veterans groups, bikers, and members of the community.

According to his obituary, Allister Barker was born in San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies on May 18, 1925. His parents were Johnny Fitzwilliam Barker and Sarah Bramble Barker. He cames to the United States in July of 1947 and lived in New York until he joined the  Army in 1949. he was later deployed to the Korean Peninsula as an infantryman. When he returned stateside In 1953, he was honorable discharged and moved to Philadelphia.  Mr. Barker operated a vehicle collision shop for many years before he retired. Mr. Barker left Philadelphia for Bear, Delaware where he lived until he passed away.

 

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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