Longtime postmaster dies at 71
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 03, 2014 | 3176 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jimmy Barker
Jimmy Barker
Jimmy Barker, who served as postmaster in Jasper and several other communities during his nearly 40-year career with the U.S. Postal Service, died Thursday. He was 71.

Barker began his career in Jasper in 1965 as a substitute special delivery messenger.

He learned his trade sorting mail for the U.S. Army, which he joined shortly after graduating from Walker High School in 1960.

Barker’s first postmaster appointment was in 1975 in Addison. After two years, he became the postmaster in Arley.

He was relocated to Cordova in 1979 and served as the postmaster in Fayette from 1987 until 2001.

Barker returned to the Jasper Post Office in March 2002 and remained there until his retirement in 2004.

“He was made for that job,” said son Brad Barker. “He ran a tight ship.”

In addition to being a devoted husband and father, Barker was a respected Little League coach and an antique car enthusiast.

Barker coached baseball in Jasper for 27 years. In the late 1970s, a string of his teams went undefeated, earning him the nickname “the Bear Bryant of Little League.”

During his retirement, Barker devoted much of his time to his antique car hobby.

From 2004 to 2007, he restored a 1955 red and black Chevy hard top. He named the car “Patience,” and the inside of the trunk bore the inscription “I did it my way.”

Barker was a founding member of the Central Alabama Rodders Society.

Barker was also a longtime member of the Jasper Bass Club, was a faithful member of Sixth Avenue Church of Christ and was a former commissioner of the Walker County Housing Authority.

He also served 30 years as a member of the Army Reserve’s 323rd Military Intelligence Detachment.

Funeral services for Barker will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. Visitation will be Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. at the church.