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Raoul Stanley Barker

Raoul Stanley Barker
July 2, 1932 – January 10, 2024

Raoul Stanley Barker, 91 of Mt. Dora, FL died on January 10, 2024, the day after celebrating the 89th birthday of his wife of 68 years, Betty.

Raoul was born on July 2, 1932 in Antibes France to his American parents, William J. Barker III and Margaret Daly. When Raoul was 7 years old, his mother was warned by a member of her church that the Nazis were invading France the next day. Margaret promptly packed up her house and her 4 children and boarded an ocean liner to the United States to meet up with her husband who was working in New York City. They settled in Mt. Dora, Fl where they owned orange groves on Lake Beauclaire. Raoul and his wife Betty still own a home on that property which has now been in the Barker family for over 100 years.

Raoul learned the spirit of volunteerism at an early age becoming an Eagle Scout and starting The Ice House Community Theater with others, including his father and brothers. Raoul graduated from Mt. Dora High School in 1950 and attended Princeton University. He received his undergraduate and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.

When Raoul entered Air Force Aviation Cadet Training in Texas, he asked Betty St. Louis and her friend Sally to drive his convertible to him. Their “Thelma and Louise” trip turned out well as it was in Texas when Raoul proposed to Betty and Sally met her future husband, Ted. Raoul and Betty were married on April 30, 1955. Raoul retired from the USAF in 1976 and began a second career in defense contracting. After being President of Sherikon Space Systems, Raoul retired again in 1996.

Raoul’s legacy teaches us all what is most important in life—family and integrity. He was warm, welcoming, and treated everyone with respect. He always struck up conversations with others that made them feel at ease and valued no matter their walk of life. He always stepped in to be a father figure to whomever needed it, no matter the circumstance, with wise guidance and love.

Raoul visited or lived in 54 countries, 27% of the world. He and Betty had many friends and loved traveling, boating, and golfing with them. He was a member of the Mt. Dora Golf & Country Club, the Mt. Dora Yacht Club, the Mt. Dora Wooden Boat Club, and the Springfield VA Golf & Country Club. He was a quick wit, gave clever nicknames and randomly sang silly songs. He kept those lucky enough to be around him smiling. He was brilliant, and was always an encyclopedia for his children and grandchildren whenever they needed an answer for almost any topic. No one could beat him at scrabble. Raoul loved nature and admired the characteristics of the American Bald Eagle. When they were endangered with less than 1,000 left in America, he began documenting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the nesting and birth of bald eagles around his home. Last week he was thrilled to learn that they are no longer endangered.

He is survived by his wife Betty, their 3 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. William Barker and his sons William and Daniel. Beverly Barker Caruso and her children Christin, Michael, Andrew, Caroline, JohnPaul, Kimberly, and Daniel. Paul Barker, his wife Amy, and their children Emily, Eric, Olivia, Andrew, and Elisa.

Raoul’s celebration of life will be held in Mt. Dora at 9 am on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, followed by a reception at the Mt. Dora Yacht Club.

Memorial contributions in Raoul’s name to The Icehouse Community Theater in Mt. Dora, FL are appreciated.

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