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Walter B. Barker ’75

A picture of Walter Barker

Walter B. Barker ’75, July 12, 2010, at home in Scappoose, Oregon. Walt grew up in Portland and developed a love of the outdoors that remained integral to his life. He attended Reed and received a BA in geology from Portland State University in 1981, and an MS in geology from the University of Arizona in 1986. During his college years, he travel extensively in the American Southwest. After college, he spent more than a decade teaching in Japan, where he developed an appreciation for Japanese culture and met his wife, Hideno “Non” Sugai. After the couple returned to the U.S., Walt studied nursing at the University of Portland. Most recently, he did renovation projects for the couple's home, designed and planted an extensive Japanese-style garden, and edited scientific manuscripts for Japanese researchers. In his public obituary, we read that he was an accomplished photographer, whose work was exhibited in galleries. He was also a writer, a philosopher by nature, a teacher, and a gifted conversationalist. “Walt was exceptionally energetic, bright, and gregarious, and could carry on in-depth conversations on a broad range of topics with just about anyone.” Survivors include his wife and mother, nieces and nephews, and a large circle of friends from several countries. “He will be sorely missed.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2010

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