It is with great sadness we announce that Janice (Jan) Barker, age 83, passed away on Sunday, January 16th, 2022, in Westminster, CO after a year-long battle with breast cancer. Her passing was peaceful with hospice assistance and as her family kept vigil throughout the last few days of her life. She is survived by her three loving daughters, Martha Labadie, Katherine (Randy) Ostby and Richell Barker; two grandchildren – Shawn Ostby and Shannon Ostby and one great-granddaughter Kennedy Ostby. Also, survived by her brother, William (Bonnie) McMillen and numerous nieces and nephews.
Janice was born August 28, 1938, in a small town in the panhandle of Nebraska – Scottsbluff, Nebraska. She was the middle child and only girl of three children born into the family of Stewart Hugh and Ida Gertrude (Polzfuss) McMillen. Her family lived in Scottsbluff and Janice attended Scottsbluff Public Schools – graduating from Scottsbluff High School in May of 1956.
She met Richard Dean Barker in fall of 1955, and they married in Scottsbluff, NE on July 1, 1956. Janice and Richard had a loving marriage of over 61 years until Richard’s death in February 2018. She and Richard raised three beautiful daughters – Martha Louise (born August 1957), Katherine Jo (born September 1961), and Richell Dee (born October 1963).
Janice came from a family of educators. Both of her parents were schoolteachers within their careers. Carrying on that tradition, she attended Scottsbluff Junior College and graduated with an Associate Degree in Education in June 1959. She then began her almost 30-year teaching career as a third-grade teacher in Mitchell, NE Public Schools. She taught in Mitchell for several years before moving the family with Richard in 1964 to Northglenn, CO when he was transferred by his employer, The Great Western Sugar Company.
Janice then taught kindergarten in a Northglenn private school while attending the University of Colorado to obtain her Bachelor’s degree. She graduated from CU in August 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. In September 1970, Janice began teaching first grade for Adams County District 12 McElwain Elementary School and saw 21 years of new first grader faces. She retired in May 1992.
Janice was a loving mother, loved and was committed to family and a loyal friend to all. She loved making ceramics for all the holidays and home décor and built an expertise in all the techniques and even owned her own ceramic kiln. She knitted beautiful afghan blankets, crocheted, and cross-stitched and passed those skills to her daughters. In her younger years, she spent hours making clothes for her daughters’ dolls, including Barbie dolls. She collected Beanie Babies Bears, and many of the Annalee dolls from the Northeast United States. Her collections and crafts are part of the legacy she has left her family to continue to enjoy for generations still ahead. She enjoyed many years of camping and fishing with Richard and her brother, William and sister-in-law Bonnie plus many friends who she worked with or who attended the same church – Northglenn United Methodist. She loved to spend time with her grandchildren as well as enjoyed traveling and seeing the world when Rich was still a part of her life. She was active in the Northglenn Recreation Center aerobics classes, attending church services, enjoyed lunches with her friends, and would play cards or Dominoes Mexican Train when she could. She spent her time with her daughters and family and was always interested in her friends as she helped others whenever she could.
Janice was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and brother, Harvey McMillen.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 4th at 11:30 a.m. at the Northglenn United Methodist Church, 1605 W. 106th Avenue, Northglenn, CO 80234. There will be a short snack reception immediately following the memorial service at the church. Janice’s final resting place will be with her husband at Fort Logan National Cemetery at 3698 S. Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80236. There will be a short graveside service at Fort Logan starting at 2:15 p.m. For those attending please arrive at Staging Area C by 2:00 p.m. and await escort to the appropriate pavilion for final services.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation (https://secure.info-komen.org) or to Northglenn United Methodist Church.