Private inurnment services for William R. “Bill” Barker, 59, Lawrence, will be held at a later date.
Mr. Barker died Saturday, February 11, 2012, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
He was born April 5, 1942 in Parsons, KS to Raymond and Mary Ann Rauniker Barker.
Mr. Barker was given the nickname “Lucky” by his uncle Smitty, also “horyock”. His beloved Aunt paid for accordion lessons at Bertolino/ Ravino Studios in San Diego, California. He hated the accordion and regularly gave his teacher migraines through his natural sensitivity and musical gifts. He became a professional organist at the age of 14 in early rock bands in Parsons, Kansas. His professional music life ended in 1979 when disco ruined the live music scene literally overnight in Joplin, Missouri at Caesar’s Palace.
During his college years (1972-1981) he was care free and happy. He studied piano and music composition at Pittsburg State University and at Wichita State University.
Bill became effete stride and a classic Missouri ragtime pianist. He played “blues” on the organ, and was influenced by Jimmy Smith, Booker T and the MG’s, Billy Preston, and Dave “Baby” Cortez. His piano influences include a sea net filled with slick, beautiful, black pianists, modern, and traditional.
Beloved companions and cosmic mates were Carol Beth Peterson of Pittsburg, Kansas and Llona Theresa Delge of Lecompton, Kansas.
Mr. Barker is survived by a brother, Bob Grant of Frontenac, Kansas.