George Robinson Barker, “Bob”, passed away on Thursday, September 28, 2023, he was 94 years old. Born on January 8, 1929 to George Myron Barker and Elizabeth Leeds Barker of Fairfield, CT, where he grew up. He attended the Choate School for Boys, Middlebury College and Yale for his master’s degree in silviculture. He enlisted in the Navy in 1950 and was part of a hurricane hunting team stationed out of Jacksonville Florida.
After a four year stint in the Navy, Bob went to work for St.Regis Paper Company - first as a forester, then as a leading pioneer into GIS Mapping. Through his work, he spent a lot of time commuting from Jacksonville, FL to the computer center at the University of Georgia in Athens. After a long career at St. Regis Paper Co, Bob took his vast knowledge of satellite imaging and went to work in Reston, VA for SPOT Imaging, a French company, where he spent 5 years helping the company get established.
After a brief stay in Reston, Bob and Joyce moved to Athens, GA where he became an adjunct professor at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry. He also served for 10 plus years on the Athens Tree Council and several of those years as President. While serving on the Commission he re-initiated the “Champion Tree” program within the county.
Bob married his longtime friend and sweetheart, Joyce Edwards, on April 25, 1953 and together they raised 4 children: Karen May (Barry), Bruce, Diane Brown (Greg) and George (Rachel). Bob leaves behind four children, 16 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Preceded in death by his wife, Joyce and daughter-in-law, Pamela. Bob and Joyce were longtime members of the Arlington Congregationalist Church of Jacksonville, Florida.
A friend to anyone he met, Bob was always ready to talk and had plenty of funny statements or sayings. He often said his day was complete if he could make someone laugh or smile. He will be missed