Vicki Joan Barker, daughter of Dwain Carlos Barker and Dixie Whitney-Barksdale, passed away Thursday, April 26, 2012 in Moab, Utah where she was born and raised. She was born June 11, 1954.
She was preceded in death by her mother in 2010, her father in 1991, and her older sister, Cheryl Denise in 1966, She is survived by her twin sister, ViviAnn Barker-Rose (Moab); her younger brother, Whitney Dwain Barker (Toluca Lake, California); numerous relatives, mostly in Utah; and her rat-fox terriers, Luigee and Richie.
Vicki was a member of the Utah Daughters of the Pioneers and was very proud of her lineage, with its original connection to Utah through ancestor, Aaron Johnson, who accompanied Brigham Young and the pioneers as they made their way across the plains to establish roots for the Latter-day Saints. She was quick to point out to anyone who asked that she was part English, Danish, German, Irish, Pottawattame, and Chipewa.
She always had a fascination with history and most recently began plans to conduct oral histories and write features on those who “made” Moab. She was a member of the Moab Historical Society. Vicki played an important role in the development of Moab as a tourist destination, helping raise awareness of the area through articles she wrote, and serving as the public relations contact for the committee that launched the “World’s Most Scenic Dump” contest, which also helped put Moab on the map as a beautiful place for outdoor recreation. She was active in the community throughout her life.
She earned her B.S. in journalism from Utah State University and spent the early part of her career writing for newspapers in northern Utah. But her true love was radio. While still in high school, at the age of 16, she passed the FCC licensing test and became a radio deejay, often writing the commercials she then recorded to be aired. During her career, Vicki also wrote for the Associated Press and The Times-Independent in Moab. Most recently, she had been writing for the “Moab Happenings” and reporting on-air for Utah Public Radio. She had been an investigative reporter for newspapers and radio stations throughout her life, and felt the importance of keeping the public informed of the facts and unique stories of interest to Moab. She was well respected by her readers and by those on whom she reported.
Besides excelling in journalism, she took great pleasure in producing photographs and had a keen interest in documenting petroglyphs and pictographs in southern Utah. In 2010, she devoted herself to having her dream home built atop Rocky Road, which she felt was her greatest achievement.
Vicki loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time hiking, exploring, and floating the Colorado. She lived fully and enthusiastically and will be missed by her friends and family, especially her twin sister, her other half. Vicki was described by her doctors as remarkable, mysterious, complicated, weird and willful.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.