Howard Barkley, 89

Howard J. Barkley, age 89, of Kalamazoo, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, at Bronson Methodist Hospital, following a short battle with COVID-19.
Howard was born Oct. 1, 1931, in Fort Dodge Iowa, a son of the late Howard and Ruth (Leiss) Barkley. Howard had a positive attitude and always found the good in those around him. He had a warm smile, laughed easily, and made friends wherever he went. He graduated from Rock Island Senior High, class of 1949. After graduating, he served our country with honor in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois. Howard was a hard worker who was employed at Dometic in LaGrange, Ind., and made his home in Sturgis. He traveled extensively throughout his life for both business and pleasure, his favorite destination being New Zealand. Howard stayed active and was an avid bicyclist and golfer well into his 70s. He was a voracious reader and was always up on current affairs.
While residing in New Mexico, he was an active member of the Democratic Party. He enjoyed getting involved and was a part of the “grass roots” campaign to elect President Obama. He also was an active member of Heritage Community Foundation as well as a resident board member. Howard was instrumental in planning for the expansion for senior living at Heritage and also promoted a new memory care learning center.
Howard enjoyed the simpler things in life. He liked to cook and bake and was known for his delicious bread. He was adventurous and enjoyed trying new foods and restaurants, the spicier the better. In later years, he enjoyed spending time with friends at Wyndam Apartments, sharing a meal, telling stories and “solving the world’s problems.” Above all, Howard loved his family and leaves them many wonderful memories to cherish. He leaves behind the legacy of a life full of knowledge, kindness, dedication and passion. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Delores Jean (Persell) Barkley; a daughter, Darcey (Kendrick) Owings; two sons, Jerry (Kristy) Barkley and Blake (Kim) Barkley; four grandchildren, Adam Barkley, Becca Barkley, Samuel and Nathan Barkley; a sister-in-law, Ruth Bisel; and many wonderful family and friends.
In accordance with his wish, cremation will take place and he will be laid to rest at Fort Custer National Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Community Legacy Fund, c/o Joldersma & Klein Funeral Home, 917 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. Family and friends may share a condolence message online atĀ

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