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Craig C. Barker “Grampy”

Apr 26, 2024

10/20/1945 — 4/13/2024

Our kind and gentle Dad, Grampy, Brother and Friend, Craig Claude Barker, died peacefully, Saturday, April 13, 2024 with his family at his side. He was born October 20, 1945 to Dr. Douglas Claude and Isabel Marcroft Barker. He was the second of five children and was raised in AZ and UT. He described his childhood as “an idyllic lifestyle centered on family, school, sports and vacations”.

He excelled in sports, particularly baseball and golf. He played baseball with older and more advanced teams – due to his exceptional abilities. He taught himself to juggle on baseball fields. He taught skiing in Aspen, CO and won the Wainwright Open Golf Tournament in Kenya, East Africa. He shot a hole-in-one and carried a handicap of 4 during his prime golfing years. He was a talented marksman, winning many shoots and was an avid hunter, fisherman, outdoorsman and camper. He taught his sons and grandchildren many skills related to sports and was a soccer coach and Cub Scout leader. He also re-enacted the American fur-trade era and spent many hours with family at mountain man rendezvous’. He was known to his fellow buck skinners as “Stumbles”.

He attended schools in Ogden, graduating from Ogden High (1963) and was offered several full-ride scholarships to play golf. He graduated from the University of Utah (1967) with a degree in Geography and then joined the Peace Corps. Prior to his departure for Kenya he learned to speak both Swahili and Kikuyu at Columbia University, while he taught school at P.S. No. 13 in Harlem (Manhattan NY, NY). He remained fluent in those languages all of his life.

He spent three years in Kenya, teaching a multitude of subjects and became an accomplished photographer there. He had a darkroom most of his young adulthood developing beautiful prints of lions, giraffes, hippos, zebras, native tribes, etc. Craig often said his degree was from a university, but his “real” education took place in Africa.

He returned to the U.S. and was immediately recruited to teach in Saudi Arabia, which he opted against, instead marrying Sue Christensen (1971). A year later, they returned to Kenya to teach for the Kenyan Ministry of Education. Upon their return, Craig worked as a planning intern at Bountiful City and at Architects and Planners Alliance in SLC. He completed his Master’s Degree in City Planning at the U of U in 1978 and was later accepted into the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Craig was an incredibly kind, tender and devoted father to his three sons, Byron, Austin and Chad. They were his pride and joy and he supported them in every way, all of his life. He listened intently, withheld judgement and was generous with resources, loving them and their spouses through every difficulty. He especially loved his grandchildren and spent every possible moment with them.

In 1978, Craig began his 28 year career with Weber County and in 1991, was appointed the Director of the Weber County Planning Commission. He was instrumental in the development of the master plans of the cities within Weber County and was widely respected by his colleagues. By the Weber County Commissioners, he was also appointed as the Director of the Weber County Housing Authority, Chairman of the County Boundary Commission, Hearing Officer for the Boundary Commission, Board of Equalization and advised the Weber Area Council of Governments (WACOG). He also taught classes at WSU as an Adjunct Professor. After retiring, he was asked to direct the North Ogden City Planning Department, which he did for several years.

He frequently expressed his admiration of the countless community volunteers who helped direct the future plans of their communities, often without appreciation. He was sincerely dedicated and determined to create city plans and zoning ordinances that reflected the community for which they were developed. He never raised his voice in anger, was always humble and was the quintessential gentleman and scholar. He will be missed beyond words and the quality of his life will serve as an example for his surviving family, for years to come.

Craig was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Bruce. He is survived and loved by his sons and their spouses: Byron (Darren Rogers); Austin (Wendy Miller); Chad (Julie Woodfield) and his grandchildren: Ryker, Mason, and Lucy. Also surviving are two brothers, Mims, Curt and a sister, Amy, and his eternal friend, Sue.

According to Craig’s wishes, private family services will be held and his cremains will be interred at Leavitt’s Memorial Gardens. Condolences can be sent to the family at premierfuneral.com.