Sumner Co. sheriff dies of cancer - WKRN News 2

Sumner Co. sheriff dies of cancer

Posted: Updated: Aug 17, 2010 04:19 PM CDT
Bob Barker was elected sheriff in 2006, capping a 30-plus year career in law enforcement. Bob Barker was elected sheriff in 2006, capping a 30-plus year career in law enforcement.

GALLATIN, Tenn. – Sumner County Sheriff Bob Barker has passed away.  He was 55 years old.

Barker had been in a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer, vowing to stay on as sheriff to serve his community.

Barker was elected sheriff in 2006, capping a 30-plus year career in law enforcement.

He was sworn in for his second term at his home, surrounded by family, Monday night.  He died five hours later.

After graduating high school in 1973, Barker served four years in the U.S. Navy.

He began his law enforcement career in New York in 1977 and moved to Sumner County in 1979.

Barker spent seven years with the Hendersonville Police Department, serving as a patrolman, traffic officer, SWAT member and sergeant.

He spent the last 23 years with the sheriff's office, and served as a deputy, criminal investigator, jail administrator, chief of detectives and chief deputy before becoming sheriff.

Sheriff Barker, a graduate of Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, attended over 2,200 hours of law enforcement training in his 33-year career.

"I had an opportunity to spend time with him these last days and he never complained.  What can you say about somebody so strong, with a servant's heart, who never wanted to be anybody else out, just a great man," said Barker's longtime friend, Senator Diane Black.

Chief Deputy Sonny Weatherford has assumed the daily duties of sheriff for the time being.

"He was a great man.  A great father, a great family man, and a great sheriff," said Chief Weatherford.

Sheriff Barker is survived by his wife, brother, sister, six children and 14 grandchildren.

Visitation for Sheriff Barker will be held Thursday from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Friday from 12 Noon until 7 p.m. with Rosary at 7 p.m. at the Family Heritage Funeral Home in Gallatin.

The mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of the Lake in Hendersonville.  Interment will follow in Gallatin Cemetery.

Memorials and donations are to be made to The Bob Barker Fund at any Volunteer State Bank branch.

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