Robert Barker's first memory is from when he was 2 years old and he used to play with his dad's dog through the screen door.
Barker turned 100 years old recently and celebrated with a party at Brookdale Willows Sherman.
“He came to Brookdale in 2010,” Brookdale Willows Resident Program Coordinator Ashlee Mathis said. “His wife lived here with him. They were connected at the hip. He is kind of quiet, but once you engage with him, he will tell you anything and everything.”
Mathis said that it is neat to know someone that is 100 years old.
“He used to come down and play bingo,” she said. “He and Mary Lou did not miss bingo. He is just a nice and very caring man. He just loves his family, his children, his grandchildren.”
Barker's wife died in March. She was 98.
“If she had lived until July, they would have been married 80 years,” daughter Brenda Stein said. “They just cared about us. They cared about raising us right. They loved their children and they loved each other. That is why they stayed together all those years.”
Barker was born in Windom and lived on a farm. He worked on the farm until after World War II. Then he moved to Sherman.
“He used to tell us this story about one of his earliest memories,” Stein said. “He had run off to a neighbor's house. He remembers getting a whooping all the way home. He has a lot of stories about school and the one-room school house and their recess. He also likes to talk about where he used to work.”
Barker worked at Line Material, a division of McGraw Edison, for 25 years. He retired from Fisher Controls.
“After he would go to work and he would come home, mother would say, 'Well, how was it?'” Stein said. “His reply was, 'I am going to try to work 'til the end of the week.' Daddy is just hilarious. He is full of stories. We all love to just sit around and listen to him tell his stories. You cannot help but laugh at them because he starts laughing before he can even get through them. It is contagious.”
Barker had three children in addition to Stein, Kenneth Barker, Bobby Barker and the late Barbara Lewis.
“The best thing that happened to me when I was really young,” Barker said. “I had asthma. My dad took me to a doctor around here and he asked me if I wanted to cure my asthma. I said you can't cure asthma. He said that I could go to a place in Oklahoma City. I went there and I have not had asthma since. That was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I was about 28-29 when that happened. That is probably the best memory I have.”
Barker said that he felt good Saturday and was excited to celebrate with family and friends.
“I have waited 100 years for this,” he said.