Mary Ann Moyers Barker, 91, of Hamburg, died Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at Memory Care of Little Rock. Mary was born in Meridian, Mississippi on August 5, 1930, the daughter of Eddie Leon and Lucille Lewis Moyers. Mary attended the public schools of Vicksburg, but her older brother, Edward, attended Chamberlain-Hunt Military Academy in Port Gibson. There, her brother befriended James Madison Barker, Jr., to whom he introduced Mary. After high school, and after Mary attended Mississippi State College for Women and Jim served in the Navy, the couple married in 1949. They then studied at Louisiana Tech University, both graduating in 1952. During the next five years, Mary and Jim lived in New Orleans, Birmingham, Tampa, and Waycross, Georgia, while Mary taught elementary school and Jim worked in sales. In 1957, the couple moved with their children to Fayetteville, where Jim attended law school at the University of Arkansas. After Jim’s graduation in 1960, the family moved to Hamburg, where Jim practiced law and Mary taught in the public schools, mostly first grade. Mary taught many children to read and to love reading and learning. She spent most of her career teaching at the primary school on Parker Street, but one of her favorite and most memorable assignments was undertaken as a favor to Superintendent of Schools S.P. Portis, who asked her to finish the year with an already established class at the Pine Street School. Mary was a member of the First United Methodist Church, where she taught the Annie Pryor Sunday school class for many years. She spearheaded a successful effort to add the church building to the National Register of Historic Places and acted as an adviser to a group that added the Presbyterian Church building to the Register. She was also a member of the Ashley County Library Board and the Hamburg Garden Club. She began walking for exercise in 1976 and advocated walking to friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Her family estimates that during the next 40-plus years, Mary walked over 30,000 miles.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 56 years, James Madison Barker, Jr. in 2005; a grandson, John Patrick Barker; her sister, Ella Dean Moyers Hall and her three brothers, Edward Leon Moyers, Jr., Pat Marion Moyers, and James Olin Moyers.
She is survived by her daughter, Ann Lucille Barker and her son, James Madison Barker III, both of Little Rock; her granddaughter, Mary Katherine Barker of Williamsburg, Virginia, two grandsons, James Henry Barker of Moab, Utah, and William Madison Barker, and wife, Lauren Kendall Barker, and great-granddaughter, Kendall Madison Barker, all of Sugar Land, Texas.
Memorial services are 11 a.m. Saturday, February 19, 2022, at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Toby Austin officiating. A private burial will be in the Hamburg Cemetery. The family thanks the staff of Memory Care of Little Rock and Kindred Hospice, particularly Lauren Gann, Ashley Littleton, and Latia Powell, for their loving care. Memorials may be made to Helping Hands Food Pantry, ℅ Brad Davis, 604 Ashley Road 485, Hamburg, AR 71646.
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