Three generations of business
Karl Barker is the third generation to choose the funeral home business. He now owns funeral homes in Alta, Correctionville and Holstein.
The first generation were aunts and uncles who along with their furniture business in Correctionville, opened Wilson Funeral Home. Karl's dad became interested in the business and in 1943, a business in Holstein was opened which he managed. In 1954, the name of the two homes was changed to Barker Funeral Home.
From the time he was 13, Karl helped with maintenance of the home and knew from that age that he wanted to carry on the family business.
He attended Dana College, Morningside College and then went on to mortuary school at Gupton College in Nashville, Tenn.
He spent the first year out of college serving his required apprenticeship with his dad.
After passing national and state boards, he became licensed in 1982.
The third funeral home was opened in Alta in 1985.
It takes a compassionate person to serve as the community undertaker and Karl works hard to help families say goodbye to loved ones.
There have been a few changes in the profession over the many years he has been involved.
Paperwork piles up much quicker than in the early years, he said, and added that many people consider a funeral as a celebration of life rather than grieving for a life.
His hours are 24/7 but he truly enjoys working with the public. Karl is thankful for a great staff which helps keep the three homes operating smoothly.
Karl offers a variety of services at Barker Funeral Home. He can help families make prearrangements, help in the selection of cemetery monuments and also provides counseling to the family after the funeral if requested.
There isn't another occupation Karl would rather be involved in.