William Campbell “Bill” Barker of Goreville, Illinois died at home suddenly Saturday, December 2, 2023.
Born at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas in 1945, Bill was the son of Mary Anne Campbell and Billie Harrison Barker. He was a descendant of Texas and Dallas County pioneers. After the family moved to Abilene, Texas in 1949, Bill attended Bowie Elementary School and Jefferson Junior High where he took a class that set the course of his life. He decided then he wanted to be an architect.
Bill was a 1963 honor graduate of Abilene’s Cooper High School where he was a member of the football team as a sophomore and junior, and a member of the National Honor Society. In addition, he was an Eagle Scout.
In the fall of 1963, Bill entered the University of Texas as a freshman. He joined his brother Barry there as a member of Acacia Fraternity. As a student in the School of Architecture, he participated in class projects in major historic preservation work in Guerrero, Mexico and at the historic Ursuline Academy (now the Southwest School of Art) in San Antonio.
Bill graduated from U.T. with a degree in Architecture in 1974. His college years coincided with the Vietnam War and Bill served as a member of the U.S. Marine Reserves and did his basic training at Camp Pendleton in California.
Bill passed the Texas architecture licensing exam on his first try. During his career he worked for architecture firms in Abilene, Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Tucson. In Denver, Colorado, he worked for 3-D International. He designed many palace and library projects in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and 1980s and often traveled there to monitor their construction progress.
In 1989 Bill married Pamela Dauksavage in Phoenix, Arizona where he worked for Honor Health Healthcare (previously the Scottsdale Memorial Hospital System) as a Health Care Architect for nearly 30 years. His peers recently shared his reputation in the industry was that of “genuinely decent human being and a truly nice guy.”
Bill was a member of the American Institute of Architects and served in several positions in his local Arizona chapter.
Bill retired in 2015 and he and Pamela moved to Goreville, Illinois where they built a home. It was the first home Bill had ever designed for the two of them and a dream come true.
Bill and Pamela were long time members of Grace Chapel of Scottsdale, Arizona and are currently members of Purpose House, Herrin Illinois. Bill was a friendly soul whom people instinctively liked. He was a helper. Whether he was driving a bus of kids back and forth to church camp or teaching Sunday School, he was always active in church. The Celebrate Recovery Ministry has long been part of his spiritual heartbeat and he made lifetime friendships there.
He was intrigued by the work of great architects and loved to tell about one of his early 1970s U.T. architecture class visits to Louis Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth to study the cooling tower. He knew the philosophy behind all the designs of well-known architects and could talk about them so that non-architects understood them. Bill was a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast and had a library of books to prove it!
The great outdoors called his name. Kayaking, hiking and biking were Bill’s joys. Upon moving to Southern Illinois, Ferne Clyffe State Park touched his heart as well as the extraordinary and kind community of Goreville and the surrounding communities.
Bill was preceded in death by his brother, Barrett Harrison Barker; his nephew, John Roberts; brother-in-law, Mickey Roberts; and aunt, Dorothy Campbell.
Survivors: wife, Pamela Dauksavage Barker of Goreville; mother, Mary Anne Barker of Dallas; step children Phillip and Patricia Reyna; sisters, Suzanne Barker Roberts of Dallas and Elizabeth Barker Willis and her husband, Doyle of Fort Worth; niece and nephew, Kristine Barker and Andrew Barker and his wife, Amy of Dallas; nephews Henry Willis and Easton Willis of Fort Worth; sister-in-law Donna Bergman and her husband Bruce of Clear Lake, Minnesota and niece and nephews Kelly, Eric, and Tony; brother-in-law Mark Dauksavage and his wife Carrie of North Dakota and nieces and nephews Brandy, Christopher, Matthew, Alex and Micheal: brother-in-law Marcelle Dauksavage and his wife Rebecca and nieces Ashley and Heather; brother-in-law Jared Dauksavage and his wife Jami and nieces and nephew Katelyn, Krysten, Laci and Chase; sister-in-law Andrea Meisner and niece and nephews Chantel, Derrick, Eric and Jeremiah; cousins Raymond Campbell, III and his wife, Sarah of Arlington, Texas and Laura Campbell Bolding and her husband, Bill of Dallas; and many second cousins and their families.
Visitation will be Saturday, December 9, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at Purpose House Church, 124 Lou Ann Drive in Herrin, Illinois with Pastor Scott Bollman and Dr. Ray Long officiating. Burial will follow at Busby Cemetery in Goreville. Military honors will be provided by the Marion, Illinois, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Ritual Team with assistance from the United States Marine Corps.
Memorials may be directed to Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis