Neva West Barker, 93, of Amarillo, Texas and recently Lubbock, died Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
Services will be held on Friday, September 1st, 2023, at 1:00 PM in the Mausoleum Chapel at Memory Gardens Cemetery, 14200 Interstate Highway 27 South, in Amarillo, Texas. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd, Amarillo, Texas.
Neva was born on September 21, 1929, in Hazen, Arkansas. She was the youngest of five daughters of Ardell and Lenora McElroy West. When Neva was three, the family moved to a farm near Tomberlin, Arkansas. The Tomberlin community did not have a high school, so Neva attended nearby England High School in England, Arkansas. Neva was a cheerleader and the Homecoming Football Queen for the England Lions.
Neva attended Draughon’s Business College in Little Rock for one year after high school while her high school sweetheart Albert B. Barker served in the US Navy in the Aleutian Islands. When he returned, they got married on June 12, 1948, at Landmark Baptist Church of England, Arkansas.
The Barkers lived in Little Rock where Neva worked for the State of Arkansas as a secretary and Albert attended Little Rock Junior College. When Albert was recalled to the US Navy from the US Naval reserves, this time for the Korean War, Neva worked and attended college part-time at Little Rock Junior College, now the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Albert eventually returned from the USS Montrose and the Korean War. Albert then finished his education at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
The Barkers moved to Amarillo, Texas in August of 1955. Neva went to school full time and completed both her Bachelor of Education and her Master of Education at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, now West Texas A&M University.
Neva taught second grade in Amarillo for 33 years, 26 of those years at Western Plateau Elementary School. Neva enjoyed teaching school and the close friendships she made with her fellow teachers. Neva was proud to be selected for the career ladder at Western Plateau.
Neva was not a passionate sports fan, but she enjoyed watching her son Brett play and she never minded when Albert and Brett took off on many road trips to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks play!
Neva was a member of the National Education Association, the Texas State Teachers Association, the Amarillo Retired Teachers Association, and Alpha Delta Kappa, a professional teachers sorority.
Neva and Albert were members of Hillside Christian Church of Amarillo and the Fisherman’s class.
Neva was predeceased by her husband Albert B. Barker (June 14, 2015), parents Ardell and Lenora West, her sisters Laura (Judd) Cullins, Clara (Lloyd) McBee, Velma (Athel) Freeman, and Gertie (Horace) Smith, and her special niece Karen (Max) Kane.
Neva is survived by her son Brett B. Barker and her daughter-in-law Melissa G. Barker, granddaughters Brooke (Garrett) Taylor, Blaire (Will) Reed, and Brynne Barker. Neva is also survived by a great grandson, Knox Taylor, son of Brooke and Garrett Taylor.
A special thanks to Neva’s friend and Hospice Nurse, Mandi Tipton, RN of Beyond Faith Hospice and the staff of Callander House for their care of Neva.