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Dick passed away relatively peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sunday, January 27, 2019 from complications due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
He was born to Richard LeRoy Barkley Sr. and Dorothy Campbell Barkley at Women’s General Hospital in Dearborn, MI on December 10, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was the oldest child and had a younger sister, Roberta “Bobbi” Ann, who was born on February 24, 1948. Dick spent the majority of his growing up years in the Detroit area, attending school at Catholic Central, Livonia Bentley, and Lincoln Consolidated Schools. While in high school, he developed a tendency of being a bit mouthy and a bit scrappy, a tendency that followed him throughout most of his life.
He joined the U.S. Navy on June 29, 1958 and was honorably discharged on March 20, 1963. While in the Navy, he met Carmen Elizabeth Underwood. They were married on April 8, 1961 in California and adopted a son, Shawn Patrick, on February 9, 1971. They later divorced in April 1976.
It took Dick some time to find the right marriage partner, as he was married three more times before meeting Janeta Karen Graham in Fort Lupton, CO. They were married on May 3, 1990 and were married for over 28 years.
After his military service, Dick worked as a tool and dye maker for Ford Motor Company in Michigan, the same corporation for which his father spent many years working. Needless to say, Dick was a Ford guy through and through. Dick also worked for the Los Angeles (CA) County Sheriff’s Department, Northrup, Lockheed, and Williams Aircraft, Omark Industries, Hughes Space and Communications Division, and the Weld County (CO) Sheriff’s Department, before taking an early retirement in October 1988. He earned an associate’s degree of General Studies – Liberal Arts from Aims Community College in Fort Lupton, CO on December 11, 1992. Dick and Janeta relocated to the Crawford, NE area in the spring of 1997.
Dick was known for his outspoken, opinionated nature. One never had to guess where he stood on any one topic. One of his favorite sayings was, “I am a very good friend to have. Conversely, I am an extremely bad enemy to have. It’s your choice.” Despite his gruff exterior, he did have a heart for those he loved and enjoyed. He was quite talented with his hands, creating decorative and functional items out of wood, barbed wire, and more. He was a good cook and liked to spend time in the kitchen making tasty meals. He had a knack for a variety of things and could fix (or attempt to fix) most of them. He also loved to write. At the time of his death, he had several different stories in various forms of completion, including one published book entitled, John Colby Brown. Having worked in law enforcement, Dick loved firearms and was an avid member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). He also liked to fish and spent many a morning out at the ponds at Fort Robinson.
Survivors include wife Janeta Barkley of Crawford, NE; mother-in-law Marguerite Williams of Crawford, NE; son Shawn Barkley of Morgantown, WV; stepdaughter Roxie Graham-Marski and husband Eser of Crawford, NE; stepdaughter Deborah Turner and husband Gonzell of Frederick, MD; step-stepson Bruce Graham and significant other Lisa Doran of Littleton, CO; step-stepdaughters Linda Simpson and husband Scott of Loveland, CO and Wendy Burchik of Austin, TX; aunt Patricia Nuetzman of Sacramento, CA; nephew James “Jim” MacDonald of Lebanon, TN; nieces Tina Lane of Michigan and Lisa Kovalesky of Florida; stepgrandchildren Rachel Huggins and Robin Hebard and their families; step-stepgrandchildren Tina Crosley, Adam Simpson, Jacob Duane Graham, and Brian Smith and their families; and several cousins, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Dick was preceded in death by his grandparents; most of his aunts and uncles; parents Richard Sr. and Dorothy Barkley; sister Bobbi Stroup; father-in-law Gordon Williams; and ex-wife Carmen Underwood Barkley.