Dorothy Many Barker (1917–2017)


A long-time resident of S Street in Burleith, Dorothy Many Barker passed away peacefully on May 31, 2017, of natural causes at the age of 100. The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Augustus L. Barker, she was born in Atlanta, GA, and raised in Ripon, WI, where her father was a professor of chemistry and dean at Ripon College. Miss Barker was a graduate of Kemper Hall in Kenosha, WI. She later attended Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University, receiving her bachelor’s degree and later a master’s degree in history. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) like her mother, Dorothy Noble Safford Barker, who became the first national grand president for AOII.

She lived an independent, significant life, which focused on service to others. Miss Barker realized her dream of seeing the world, becoming one of the early women foreign service officers. First posted to war-torn Germany in 1945 as a clerk, she helped process the many displaced persons, United States citizens, and others desperate to reach America. Other tours included Montreal, Paris, and Marseille. “In my day,” as she explained her good luck, “the State Department did not send women to ‘hardship posts.’” But things seemed to be changing by the time of her final assignment to Tel Aviv, soon after the 1967 Six Day War.

In her retirement, Miss Barker devoted her energies to Meals on Wheels, the Women’s Democratic Club of DC, and St. John’s Episcopal Church, Georgetown. She continued her foreign travels, including several trips for outreach work in Honduras with her church. She loved all animals, especially dachshunds, and enjoyed spending time in the outdoor sunshine particularly the southern coasts of France.

According to her niece Mary Frances Bragg of Colleyville, TX, “She was proud of her home on S Street and loved walking the safe streets at all times of the day with her dogs. She felt she was close to all the activities, programs, and events that DC had to offer. It was ideal for her.”

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Lawrence, and sister, Ann Bragg. She is survived by Ms. Bragg and two other nieces, Elizabeth Artandi of Greenwich, CT, and Susan Niedzwecki of Franklin, TN; and grand-niece, Kate Niedzwecki of Washington, DC. Her ashes will be interred at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Georgetown.

Services will be held at St. John’s on July 12 at 10 a.m.

Read more at the Washington Post.