Hardworking, stubborn, loving, and a family man are just a few ways to describe Michael Barkley. A few historical events that occurred in 1951 include the first commercial computer, UNIVAC, was put to use at the U.S. Census Bureau; the Dennis the Menace comic strip first appeared in U.S. newspapers; the term rock-n’-roll was coined; and on March 22, 1951, Loren and Nova (Holt) Barkley welcomed the birth of Michael L. Barkley in Decatur.
As a child, he always wanted to be a conservation officer. He loved the outdoors and also participated in 4-H.
He attended Norwell High School and was active in football and basketball, in addition to playing the trumpet, before he graduated with the class of 1969. He worked as a driver for UPS Freight until his retirement. He also served in the Army National Guard in the 1970s. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, and watching his grandchildren play sports, as well as watching old westerns and listening to traditional hymns from church.
Special times in his life were the day he bought his first semi truck, the day each of his grandchildren were born, and going to Branson, Miss. to watch shows.
He met his future wife, Ellen, 36 years ago at the Blue Flame LP gas shop in Columbia City, where he was a manager. He raised two sons on his own until meeting Ellen.
Always in the hearts of those who knew and loved him so well, he will never be forgotten.
Michael L. Barkley, 69, Churubusco, passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at Parkview Regional Medical Center.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Ellen Barkley, Churubusco; sons: Greg (Tammy) Barkley, Fort Wayne; and Shane (Starr) Barkley, Columbia City; step-children: Susan (Condon) Bradbury, Roanoke; Lee Ann (Bob) Dunn, Theresa (Sam) Winebrenner and Terry (Melissa) Coulter, all of Columbia City; 18 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren; siblings: Donelle McMaster, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Randy (Pam) Barkley, Ossian; Robin (Kevin) Lipp, Markle; Mark (Dixie) Barkley, Fort Wayne; and Kristie (Dean) George, Markle.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A gathering of family and friends will be from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.
With the current executive order, face masks are required for attendance. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m., with limited seating. The funeral service may also be watched live on Facebook through DeMoney Grimes Live.
Burial will take place in Union Township Cemetery. Memorial donations may be given in memory to Whitley County Humane Society.