Alma "Mo" Wanda Barker
June 27, 1922 – January 10, 2021
Alma ‘Mo” Wanda Jaeger Barker was born in Haines City, FL on June 27, 1922 to Polish and German immigrant parents, Wanda and Earnest Jaeger. She and her siblings, Fred Jaeger, Wanda Francis Jaeger Walter, Edith Pauline Jaeger Baker, Olga Bryan Jaeger Bridges, Henry and Earnest Jaeger jr, grew up around the family restaurant, The Highland Cafe, which was near the old canning plant and later moved to Ingraham Avenue. As a young girl, Alma learned to swim and loved swimming in the region’s many lakes. She carried her love for swimming and teaching others how to swim, throughout her entire life. Later, as a young woman, Alma moved to Miami, Fl where she worked at Eastern Airlines for 10 years during which time she added to the war effort and met the love of her life, Hugh Charles Barker. They had two daughters, Janet Bess Barker (Kalamazoo, MI) and Karen Ann Barker Robbins (Deland, FL).
Mo and Charles raised their family in Miami, where they built 2 houses together and worked side by side to create a life for their family. Mo never met a stranger and often added a spark to a room.
In addition to creating a home, Mo was a dedicated volunteer her entire life and a active member of the American Legion Axillary. She was especially proud of being a Girl Scout leader for her daughters and continued leading for many years after her daughters had graduated. She helped hundreds of girls learn the value of the Girl Scout promise and the law and passed on her love for the out-of-doors, especially the Everglades and our National and State parks. She loved camping, and camped with her troops across the entire state.
She was always up for an adventure and in support of her husband’s quail hunting excursions she would organize the logistics for the entire family to accompany Charlie, camping for weeks in remote areas of the everglades every fall, for 20+ years.
She also loved planning and taking lengthy vacations every summer with her family across the entire United States always weaving in a stop at Charle’s childhood home and farm in Richmond, Indiana. These road trips included setting up a tent site every night for weeks, exploring museums and attractions along the way and singing. Mo loved to sing and there was often a heartfelt song taught and belted out in the car, in the kitchen..everywhere. If you listen closely you might hear....”I want to wake up in the orange groves where the orange blossoms grow”, or a hymn like ‘How Great Thou Art“ or perhaps her favorite Girl Scout song, “Girl Scouts Together”!
After her children were old enough for school, Mo became a kindergarten teacher and later bought and ran her own kindergarten in Coral Gables, Cocoplum Kindergarten. Mo started many youngsters on their learning pathway and was always trying to create fun ways for children to learn, including her beloved grandchildren, Amelia Barker Lietzau, Graham Barker King, Sean William Robbins and Lauren Parr Robbins/Blevins.
She and Charles later moved to Orlando where she volunteered in her community. She and Charles continued to travel to other countries, camp and explore and enjoy every chance they had with their grandchildren.
Later in life Mo lived in Deland, where she continued to volunteer and be the life-of- the-party. She continued to sing and loved dancing even as a nonagenarian. She will be loved and missed by all who had the pleasure to be in the room with her.
Donations in her memory can be made to: Trinity United Methodist Church Music Ministry, 306 W Wisconsin Ave, DeLand, FL 32720 or to: Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, 601 W Maple St, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, where a scholarship is set up in her honor.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Alma "Mo" Wanda Barker
Susan & Kerry Badger
January 26, 2021
Mo was clearly an inspiration to her family and to so many. I never knew her, but after reading her story and seeing her picture, I'll miss this lovely lady too.
With best wishes and love in remembrance of Mo.
January 25, 2021
Jan, I will always remember when I met your parents. It was Linda Burke's retirement trip to your new FLA bungalow. What fun we had!! Fond memories of your Mom and Dad. May your mother have eternal peace! Thinking of you and your family with sympathy and love.
January 15, 2021
I'm so sorry for the loss your mother ❤️ Love You momma ❤️
January 13, 2021
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
I love you Mother Robbins