Maria Lorena Barker
On March 14th, 2019, God took home another beautiful angel. My wife, my love, my friend and soul-mate, Maria Lorena Barker went home to be with our Lord. She was greeted by our daughter Kristin Martha Barker (whom we lost 27 years ago when Maria began her battle with cancer), her sister, my mother, father, and so many other family members on both sides that have gone before us. Now we celebrate the life of Maria Lorena Barker. She also joins her sister Elida whom she spoke so highly of. She is now in the presence of our Lord. She was a selfless, graceful and loving mother, an amazing and patient grandmother and soul mate of 31 years to her husband, Jim Barker . She was a wonderful friend to all.
Maria Lorena Barker was born in Chihuahua Mexico June 24, 1959 to Maria Luz and Abel Medina. At the age of one, her family moved to Colorado. Maria graduated Battle Mountain High School in 1978. She then joined the Air Force October 4th 1978. She mentioned she had a hard time with boot camp but she never gave up. She never quit. She went on to become a Sergeant E4 in the Air Force and worked as a Financial Management Specialist. She also earned her Bachelors degree in Accounting. She served till her honorable discharge in 1984. She received the Outstanding Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon, and an Air Force Training Ribbon.
She attended La Verne College and Alan Hancock College. A er she received her Bachelors while in the Air Force, she worked for Santa Barbara County at Public Works and also worked on the weekends at the Santa Ynez airport. In 1985, Maria moved up to the Treasurer Tax Collectors office. is is where she met the love of her life. Jim would work downstairs in the computer room during the graveyard shift . Maria would come down and pick up her departments paperwork and this
is where they noticed one another. Maria worked in many divisions of the Santa Barbara County as an accountant. She then moved up to become an Accountant III supervisor for the Retirement department. She decided to become a cost analysis supervisor at Social Services department, which was a very important position in her eld. Everyone she worked with respected and loved Maria because she showed respect and courtesy to all.
Maria loved life and was determined to live it to the fullest no matter what struggles she faced. She was a strong Christian woman who overcame many difficulties in life with grace. She was selfless and knew no bounds in giving to others. Maria battled cancer for 27 years. She astounded Doctors, Nurses, and the medical eld with her faith as she battled this disease. Maria is in the medical journal since no one has ever survived the amount of years that Maria endured. Everyone that knew Maria said that she was a true warrior or as her husband calls her, “my bad ass warrior.”
Maria made it her goal to spend as much time as she could with their children and grandchildren. She leaves behind her daughters; Kandis L. Barker, Callie E. Barker Wass, and son, Christopher J. Barker; her son in law, Spencer Wass; her grandchildren; Evan Matthew Barker (Evan from heaven), Aaliyah L Barker (princess), and Andrew J Barker (smiley). She is survived by her father Abel Medina, her mother Maria Luz Medina, her sister Lizbeth Velasquez, her brother Jesus Medina, brothers in law Jack Velasquez, George Barker and John Bell, sisters in law Irene Bell and Chrystine Medina and cousin Federico Larrea (Fede ́). She also leaves behind many dear and loved nieces and nephews. Anyone that knew Maria knew that she loved everything blue and white. She had blue willow dishes, blue and white couches, and blue and white interior design of her room. She even had a blue and white decorated Christmas tree that took awhile for the rest of the family to get used to.
Maria used to say she didn’t have an artistic bone in her body but she had many talents. She was not only intelligent and great with numbers, she was amazing at making dresses for Kandis and Callie when they were younger. She made these dresses with the detail and love you could see in the end result. She was obsessed with blue willow, plaid, and oral so anything she made; whether it be dresses, comforters, pillow cases and blankets; all resembled that pattern and turned out beautifully. She was also great at making screens for the screen business. She was a perfectionist. Many workers were astonished at how fast she could make them with such detail. She reminded Jim of his mother Martha back in the day with his fathers screen business.
Maria was an avid runner when she was younger. She loved running the 5K Chardonay runs with her husband Jim. She loved biking and riding along the beach. She and her husband would take their kids along with them. She used to enjoy camping and family trips. e trips that the family took included cross- country to New York and Colorado.
Maria loved to laugh and especially make others laugh. She would tell jokes to her coworkers and friends, make funny comments with her family; some of which we shouldn’t repeat. One of Maria’s passions was dancing. Disco happened to be her favorite. Whether she was in the house, outside or in the car with her husband, that era of music got her moving.
Jim and Maria had a special bond. A er meeting one another at their work, they knew right away that they had a connection. Her re ned look, the way she dressed, her funny humor and smile are what caught Jim’s attention. Maria loved the way Jim cooked and his sense of humor. ey loved to laugh and enjoy each others time together. ey were married 28 years of the 31 they were together.
Their lives together were exciting, blessed, full of excitement and love. They were full of challenges but together they overcame every challenge. eir love got them through everything. During the last 3 years, they enjoyed trips to Ireland and Paris, but their most memorable one was their trip to Spain. Marias life left such an impact on so many from her family to her friends, that she will be missed dearly. With faith and hope we will all be reunited one day. We love you Maria!!
In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to the Cancer Foundation. We want to thank everyone at the Cancer foundation; the doctors, Dr. Abate, Dr. Abassi, all the nurses and staff, with all their love, their respect, their honor and courtesy that they gave to Maria through out the 27 years. Also we would like to thank Cottage Hospital and all the doctors, nurses, and staff there. Thank you to Hospice for all of your guidance and help.
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