2012 NPT PHOTO BY DUAY O'NEIL Rhea Barker celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, September 16. She resides at Wellington Place.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
(Last modified: 2012-09-18 10:35:56)
Author: Duay O'Neil
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-Rhea Barker officially turned 100 years old Sunday, September 16, but celebrations began Friday afternoon with a birthday party at Wellington Place where she has resided since 2008.

Barker was born September 16, 1912, in the Boyds Creek community of Sevier County, a child of George and Hettie (White) Parton.

She was one of eight children born to the couple, including sisters Ethel Parton Rogers and Velma Parton Clabo and brothers Arnold, Adam, Dallas, and Plez, all of whom are now deceased.

Her dad was a farmer and was noted for making molasses.

When asked if she was a UT Vols fan, Barker laughed and said, "I like any kind of ballgame. I used to play ball. I was a good pitcher."

She married a neighbor boy, Beecher Barker, and the couple had one daughter Johnnie.

Beecher worked for the State of Tennessee and his job brought the little family to Newport about 1950.

Initially they lived in the Irish Cut area, where they became loyal members of Lowe's Chapel Baptist Church. They are remembered as part of a quartet that sang at numerous religious events and funerals.

Later they moved to a home on Lincoln Avenue, where she resided until she moved to Wellington Place.

For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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