Irene C. Barker, secretary

Irene C. Barker, a retired secretary who was known for her baking prowess, died Friday of heart failure at Lorien Mays Chapel. She was 95.

The daughter of farmers, Irene Catherine Arndt was born on a farm at Liberty and Old Court roads. The family later moved to another farm in Northwest Baltimore.

She was a 1935 graduate of Forest Park High School and graduated from Strayer's Business College.

Mrs. Barker worked for 35 years as a secretary to the superintendent of the Baltimore City Department of Special Education from the late 1940s until the 1970s, when she retired. She also worked at Englemann's Toy Store in Waverly.

The longtime Ednor Gardens resident, who later moved to the Ivy Hall Apartments in Towson, was an accomplished baker who was known for her pies and pound cakes.

"One of my favorites was her blueberry cream pie," said a daughter, Kathleen M. Barker of Mays Chapel.

Mrs. Barker was also an avid gardener and traveler. She and her husband of 56 years, John W. Barker, who had been a tool designer at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River, enjoyed touring the U.S. in their recreational vehicle. He died in 1999.

She had been a longtime communicant of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church; at her death, she was a parishioner of St. Frances of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Northeast Baltimore.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mrs. Barker is also survived by another daughter, Ruth Perrella Barker of Mays Chapel; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Her son, John C. Barker, died in 2011.

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