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Carole Cathryn Neuman Barker, of Ashville, Ohio, passed away June 10, 2023, at Pickaway Manor, Circleville, Ohio, where she resided for the past six months. She was 88.
Mrs. Barker was born June 21, 1934 in Sharon, Pa., the daughter of John Donald Neuman and Margaret Clark Neuman. She and her twin sister, Lyda Lloy Neuman Cook, graduated from Sharpsville (Pa.) High School in 1952, then earned undergraduate degrees in Liberal Arts from Denison University (Granville, Ohio) in 1956.
The twins spent their childhood in Warren and Niles, Ohio, before moving to Sharpsville in 1946. They were extremely close throughout their lives, sharing a double wedding in 1956. Life later came full circle as Carole was able to spend the last several years of her life living with Lyda and her husband, James D. Cook, in Pickaway County, Ohio.
The twins discovered Buhl Farm Park close to their new home in Sharpsville and enjoyed its numerous activities virtually every day throughout their teenage years, which ultimately shaped much of Carole’s professional life, passions and accomplishments. She served as a member and president of the Board of Regents for the Julia F. Buhl Girls Club before becoming that organization’s executive director, then became the director of programs and activities for Buhl Park. Her remarkable leadership and fundraising skills helped initiate programs for children, youth and adults that impacted thousands of local residents and continue to do so today. After retiring in 2006, she was selected as a 2010 Buhl Day honoree in recognition of her years of service to the park and community.
Carole was also instrumental in founding the Shenango Valley’s First Tee golf program in 1997, which was one of the original eight First Tee chapters established in the country. In her mind, the youth development program, which teaches life lessons through the game of golf, coincided perfectly with the Buhl family’s mission for the park and its free, nine-hole golf course. Over the ensuing years, more than 5,000 local youth participated in the program.
For more than 70 years, Carole also was a dedicated and loyal member of First Presbyterian Church, Sharon. She served as trustee, deacon, Sunday school teacher, and member of the Presbyterian Women’s Association. In addition, she served as secretary and president of the College Club of Sharon, filling positions her mother had previously held.
Mrs. Barker was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 17 years, Thomas E. Barker. In addition to her sister Lyda and brother-in-law Jim Cook, she is survived by two sons, Kurt Brautigam and Chris Brautigam; two grandchildren, Alex Brautigam and Matthew Brautigam and his wife Emily; her niece and devoted helper Cathy Cook and her children Justin and Cathryn; her nephew John Cook and his wife Jan and their three children, Kristin, Courtney and Jason; Tom’s four children, Jimmy Barker, David Barker and his wife Gina, Janet MacInnes, and Linda Murray and her husband John; and Tom’s grandchildren Matthew Barker, Daniel Barker, John William Murray, Chad Barker, Ryan Barker, and Joseph Clark.
Private burial services were held on June 23, 2023 in the Buhl Chapel at Oakwood Cemetery.
A memorial service will be held in the First Presbyterian Church of Sharon, on Sunday July 16, 2023 at 2:00PM with Rev. Dr. Glenn M. Hink, officiating.
The family would very much like to acknowledge the compassionate care provided to Carole during the past several months by Pickaway Manor’s faithful and dedicated professional employees. We would also fondly recognize the many friends and associates whom she so loved knowing and working with in the Shenango Valley community.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 600 E. State St., Sharon, PA, 16146; and/or the Buhl Corporation Memorial Fund, 715 Hazen Rd., Sharpsville, PA, 16148.
Friends are invited to express their condolences and share their memories with Carole’s family by visiting www.sampleodonnellfh.com.