Published 11:12 am Monday, June 14, 2021
March 27, 1937–June 12, 2021
Kay Yvonne Saunders Barker, 84, passed away on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
Kay was born March 27, 1937, in Logan, West Virginia, to Margaret Bailey Saunders and H.L. (Jack) Saunders.
The family moved to Ashland, Kentucky, and several years later, Kay graduated from Ashland High School in 1955.
Higher education was completed at Ashland Junior College and Marshall College.
Kay was an elementary school teacher at several local schools including Pogue Elementary in Ashland.
She especially enjoyed teaching fifth and sixth grade students.
Kay and her sisters, Gail Saunders Rous and Janet Saunders Payne, enjoyed singing in their music group “The Saunders Sisters.”
Kay met her husband, John Paul Barker through their mutual love of music and were married on June 2, 1957.
Kay was a gifted vocalist and pianist, who gave to others through her music.
She was organist and choir director at several churches including Ironton Presbyterian, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Ashland, Kentucky, and Richwood Presbyterian Church in Walton, Kentucky.
In addition, she was a private piano teacher to countless children in South Shore, Kentucky; Ironton, and Ashland, Kentucky.
Her gift of music extended to others also through community events, playing organ and piano for life celebrations, the Rotary Club and others. She also sang in multiple church choirs and played hand bells.
She and John moved to the northern Kentucky area in the mid 1980s where she was an active real estate agent and received multiple recognitions for sales and service.
Upon retirement, they returned to Ashland, Kentucky in 1992.
She was a member of First Presbyterian Church Ashland and First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Ashland.
In addition to music, Kay loved gardening and her yard was always full of beautiful day lilies. She enjoyed many years as a member of the Ironton Garden Club.
She was also an avid interior decorator and took pride in making her home beautiful.
Kay is also remembered for her wonderful cooking skills and special meals created for family and friends.
She is especially remembered for her intense love for her family. She was a caring Daughter, wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, loving sister, aunt and friend.
She was a remarkable woman and will be missed greatly.
Survivors include her husband, John Paul Barker; daughter Rebecca (Lance) Vest; grandsons, John Franklin and Benjamin Payne Vest; beloved sister and brother-in-law, Gail and Richard Rous, nephews, Bruce and James Rous, David (Charlene) Ravencraft, Paul (Julie) Fugitt, Jeff Smith; nieces, Mary Rous, Judy Fugitt, Melody Abdon and Teresa Ludwig; plus many other wonderful relatives and countless friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the charity of your choice.
The family will hold a visitation on Tuesday from 11–noon at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel and a memorial service to honor her life at noon with Rev. Stephen Smythers officiating.
To share a remembrance of Kay or to express a condolence to her family, please visit www.steenfuneralhome.com.