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Dr. Thomas G. Barker

Published 2:30 pm, Saturday, January 8, 2011
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Dr. Thomas G. Barker died Dec. 31 in Huntsville, Ala. He was 89.

Born April 19, 1921, in Alberta, Canada, his family immigrated to America where he served in the Navy in World War II, and then, on the GI Bill, attended college and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

In 1950 he opened a successful general dental practice in Darien where his numerous contributions to the community included serving as a Boy Scout Master, police commissioner, president of the Kiwanis Club, and coach of the 1958 Little League All-Star team that went to the World Series in Williamsport, Pa. He opened his family and home in Darien to the underprivileged: Fresh Air Fund kids from New York City; an exchange student from Brazil; two of the Hiroshima Maidens.

In 1968, Mr. Barker left private practice and assumed the responsibilities of professor and then dean of admissions at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. His tenure was distinguished by such foreign assignments as assisting in the development of professional dental training programs at universities in Egypt, Jordan and Libya. He retired to Reno, Nev., in 1987 but continued to teach in the Humanities and English Department at Truckee Meadows Community College. In the early 1990s he moved to Santa Fe, N.M., to be near two of his sons, and there he met a companion.

Mr. Barker is survived by three sons: Rod, Gary and Brad Barker.