BY JENNY GOLDSBERRY
From 1926 to 1987, a full-service gas station sat at the corner of 2600 North and 400 East. Wayne Ririe Barker owned and managed Barker’s Service station nearly all his life. In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve chosen Wayne as the “Ebenezer Scrooge of North Ogden,” although, there is no record he was ever a “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner,” as Charles Dickens described Scrooge.
Wayne grew up in the first home in North Ogden that had electricity. His parents were Clarence Barker and Myrtle Edna Ririe. Anyone who remembers Wayne remembers all the extras he tended to sneak into orders. Most of the child clients got an extra handful of candy when visiting. Eventually, as more members of the Barker family joined the business, they included auto body and paint services.
For many years, Wayne was also the owner/operator of the Mt. Lomond Motel, and before that, the Chick Chick Inn Restaurant. The Chick Chick Inn was a notorious North Ogden business that began in 1936, in the back of Wayne Barker’s Service. They had a dance floor with a live orchestra, draft beer, punchboards, and slot machines.
On the wall of Barker’s Service was the Barker motto. “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what so ever I can. I wasn’t to be thoroughly used when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no candle to me, it is sort of a splendid torch, which I have got hold of for a moment, and I wanted to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it over to future generations.” It was originally a quote from George Bernard Shaw. He was an Irish author and playwright born in 1856. He died in 1950, at the height of Barker’s Service.
In addition to his interpersonal generosity, Wayne served in the U.S. Army and was a Veteran of World War II. He was a member of the Kiwanis International for 50 years and was a member of the LDS church, where he was active as a High Priest in the North Ogden 9th ward, a home teacher, and where he sang in the ward choir. He was a longtime supporter for Cherry Days and a lifelong resident of North Ogden. Wayne was an avid sports fan and, as a young man, he played on many local baseball teams.
Wayne Ririe Barker passed away of kidney failure on Monday, January 19,1998 at Manor Care Nursing Center. He was 88 years old. His obituary published by the Standard Examiner read “Wayne will be remembered by family and friends for his kindness and generosity.” This holiday season, remember him; his birthday was December 12.