Natalie Louise Wilcox Barker, 89, passed away March 16, 2012, at her home surrounded by her children. Natalie was born July 7, 1922, in Medford, Ore., the daughter of Ralph Wilcox and Marjorie Littlefield Wilcox. Growing up she was close to her brothers, Bob and Fred. She loved helping in the family pear orchard during the summers.
A graduate of Phoenix High School, Phoenix, Ore., she had outstanding typing and shorthand skills. As a result, she was offered a job in government services in Washington, D.C. She traveled across country by train in the dead of winter and took up residence at the YWCA. She enjoyed sharing stories of working in the Pentagon during the war and living comfortably on less than a dollar a day.
Natalie returned to Medford, where she worked in banking and met her future husband, T.C. "Chris" Barker. Natalie and Chris were married on April 21, 1946. They had five children. She was an avid and knowledgeable sports fan, enjoying countless high school basketball games and track meets. She enjoyed University of Oregon Duck sports, professional tennis and Mariners baseball.
One of Natalie's greatest contributions was her 37 years of service as a Rogue Valley Medical Center Auxiliary "Pink Lady." She volunteered over 30,000 hours, including serving as auxiliary president in 1972, and secretary of the Rogue Valley Health Foundation Board of Trustees for more than seven years. In 1985, she was a recipient of the A.S.V.
Carpenter Distinguished Citizen Award.
Natalie was active in the Episcopal Church, first at St. Mark's in Medford, and for the past 40 years at Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland, Ore., where she served on the vestry. She was a member of SWAT (Sewing Women at Trinity), and helped create and distribute hundreds of quilts to those in need.
Natalie is survived by her four children, John (Julie), of Portland, Ore., Ted (Kristi), of Springfield, Ore., Janis, of Portland, Ore., and Maryl, of Medford, Ore.; granddaughter, Annie (Colin), of Portland, Ore.; and grandson, Jeff (Nikki), of Curacao. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Lynn Marie; husband, Chris; and brother, Fred.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m., at Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 North Second Street, Ashland, Ore. Remembrances may be made to the Trinity music program or Access.