Robert Barker obituary 2021

CHILLICOTHE - Robert L. Barker, 91, of Washington, formerly of Chillicothe, passed away Sunday, February 7, 2021 with his family holding his hands at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Bob was born July 28, 1929 in Peoria to Louis C. and Ruth E. (Williams) Barker. He married Mary Lee Anderson January 21, 1951 in Chillicothe; she preceded him in death March 12, 2006. On September 2, 2007, he married Zoe Favors in Washington.

Surviving are his wife, Zoe; daughters, Tammy (Ed) Hanley and Cindy (Steve) Sypkens; stepchildren, James “Eddy” (Tina) Favors and Zoe (Kenny) Troxell; and six stepgrandchildren.

He was also preceded in by his parents and his siblings, Amos Barker and Evelyn Stedman.

Bob graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1947. He was drafted into the Army in 1951, serving Korea. While in Korea, he served in the Honor Guard for then President-Elect Eisenhower. He was honorably discharged in 1953 and was awarded the Bronze Star, the United Nations Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and one Overseas Bar.

He worked at JC Penney in Chillicothe as an assistant manager. While living in California, he worked as a machinist, sales engineer, and insurance agent, then as a gearcutter. He made gears for the moon buggy and for the Disneyland’s It’s a Small World ride. After returning to Peoria, he worked as a foreman at WABCO and Champion furnace, then was a driver for the Dental Arts Lab before retiring in 2016.

Bob loved traveling, playing pinochle and bridge. He was a member of Willow Hill United Methodist Church, a bowler and a fisherman. Bob loved to go ballroom dancing with Mary and later with Zoe. He was also an avid John Wayne fan, who loved his chocolate.

Memorial service will be held at a later date. Inurnment with military honors will be at Chillicothe City Cemetery, also at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be to the American Cancer Society or a charity of the donor’s choice. You may also enjoy a Hershey bar in memory of Bob.

Bob’s memorial website is available at, where condolences may also be sent to the family.

Posted online on February 23, 2021