Barry Thomas Barkey, age 78, of Knoxville, Iowa, passed away at his residence, on Sunday morning, April 3, 2022.
Visitation for Barry will be held on Sunday, April 10, 2022, at the First Baptist Church in Knoxville from 12:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. with Barry’s family present to greet friends and relatives. A Celebration of Barry’s Life will begin at 2:00 P.M. also at the First Baptist Church.
Barry was born on December 28, 1943, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He was the oldest son of Elwood Franklin and Eleanor Barron (Thomas) Barkey. Barry’s family was a military family and moved many times before settling in Iowa Falls, where he was raised and graduated from Iowa Falls High School, Class of 1962. Following high school, Barry attended Ellsworth College and obtained an Associate of Arts Degree. Following Ellsworth College he attended the University of Northern Iowa, majoring in Liberal Arts.
Barry was united in marriage to Arlene Frances Toomsen on June 5, 1965, in Iowa Falls, Iowa. They enjoyed and shared 56 years of marriage and were blessed with three children, Brian, Kendra, and Troy.
Barry worked most of his life. He worked with the Des Moines Register from 1971 to 1990, as a district manager and for many years as the agency manager in Knoxville. Afterwards he was an insurance agent for several insurance companies. He was a semi-driver for four years with Schneider Trucking and for nine years with Loeffler Safety Shoes. Barry retired in 2008 but soon began to drive school bus for Melcher-Dallas and later Knoxville until 2020.
Barry enjoyed life and was very talented. He was a lifelong golfer. Barry was a very talented vocalist and guitar player. He was a founding member of Country Persuasion, which played from 1983 to 1993 and then again from 1997 to 2008. The band recorded one album and were a finalist in the Avis Award, for country music. For many years Barry and Arlene wintered in Padre Island, Texas.
Those left to cherish his memory include Barry’s wife Arlene Barkey of Knoxville; their children, Brian Barkey and his wife Theresa of Altoona, Kendra Barkey of Des Moines, and Troy Barkey and his wife Katie of Roberts, WI; five grandchildren, Connor McFarland, Aubrey Barney, Christopher Barkey, Alan Barkey, and Brandon Barkey; and three great-grandchildren Taytum, Avonlea, and Bellamy. Barry is also survived by his three brothers Gary Barkey of Fort Worth, TX, Terry Barkey of Jacksonville, FL, and Perry Barkey of Iowa Falls. He was preceded in death by his parents Elwood and Eleanor Barkey.
Memorials may be given in Barry’s memory to his family and will be donated at a later date. The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is assisting Barry’s family with services.