K6MDG - July 17, 2012

K6MDG - Thomas J. Barker Thomas J. Barker
Organ, NM
QCWA # 30657

Thomas Jefferson Barker was born Dec. 22, 1936 in Coleman, Texas, and died in Las Cruces on July 17.

He was the eldest child of Marcus Agustus "Jack" Barker and Julia Hardin Barker. His family moved to San Bernardino, CA, shortly before World War II, and lived there through most of the 1940s. There were two intervals during which the family lived in Oklahoma or Texas before moving back to California in 1952.

Tom was an avid amateur radio operator, known to his ham friends as K6MDG. It was his interest in amateur radio which led to a very interesting career as an electronics engineer at Hewlett Packard, San Diego Division. Among his accomplishments there, he designed and supervised the construction of the RFI test site, which has been considered to be the finest of its kind at any division of HP. Tom's interest in amateur radio began at a very early age, and he received his first FCC license in 1955. He was active in the Long Beach Microwave Society in the 1960s, and decoded data from the OSCAR III amateur satellite. Much later, he moved to Ramona, CA, where he was a founding member of ROARS (Ramona Outback Amateur Radio Society). It was there that he met and married his wife, Ruth Meyer-Barker, who now survives him. They lived in Ramona until 1997, when they moved to New Mexico. They have been residents of Las Cruces since 1998. Tom and Ruth Barker are former members of Mesilla Valley Radio Club.

A memorial service will be held at East Mesa Baptist Church, 6160 Moongate Rd, on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home. To send condolences go to www.lapaz-grahams.com.

Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on July 25, 2012