Dorothy S. Barker

Dorothy S. Barker died at Windemere on February 21. She was 100.

Dorothy Wight was born in Pawtuxet, R.I., on December 15, 1910. She graduated from Warwick High School, and in 1931 graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. She taught art classes in the Warwick school system.

In 1935, she married Melvern J. Barker, a fellow graduate of RISD. They lived in Yonkers, N.Y., for a few years in pursuance of careers in art. Following the depression and prior to World War II, in 1940 they moved to Martha’s Vineyard where Dorothy had spent summers at her uncles’ and later her parents’ home on Music Street in West Tisbury. She felt the Island was a wonderful place to raise her two daughters, as well as encouraging her husband’s art projects and the writing of his many children’s books. She was his assistant in all of his work and adventures, as were her girls. Dorothy could be found with Mel on Quitsa Pond scalloping in the wintertime.

They eventually built their home near Abel’s Hill in Chilmark and later built another home in Gay Head. Dorothy spent many years as the “up-island art teacher” for the three elementary schools, traveling each week between them with wonderful projects for her many students.

She was a member of the Grange, the Chilmark Women’s Club, and the West Tisbury Congregational Church.

During the years from 1985–1999 she wintered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., enjoying the company of her friends and family, in particular her brother, Brandon Wight. However, Dorothy always looked forward to late spring through early fall when she returned to her house on Lighthouse Road in Gay Head.

In 1999, she once again returned full-time to the Vineyard, taking up residence at Windemere, the assisted living facility. She received outstanding assistance as she experienced the deterioration of her vision caused by macular degeneration. She remained at Windermere and enjoyed these last years on this beautiful island, close to her daughters, Judith Lutender and Karen Duffy, both of whom have homes in Gay Head and spend five months in residence.

Dorothy leaves behind her brother, Brandon, her daughters and their husbands, three grandchildren: Scott Lutender, Kristen Webb Harrow and Tarah Hirschey and eight great-grandchildren, Craig and Kyle Lutender, P.J. and Kendall Webb, and Eliza, Spencer, Samantha and Alexander Hirschey. She will be greatly missed by all.

A memorial service for Dorothy will be held in the summer when many family members and friends are on the Island. Donations can be made to Dorothy’s name to Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 1747, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.