Robert H. Barker Jr.

Barker, Robert Hatton, Jr. 48, of Newport, Rhode Island, formerly of Lake Bluff, died Thursday, April 5, 2012. Rob was the devoted husband of Catherine Morton Barker and loving father of Brendan and Amanda. Rob was born in Chicago, Illinois the son of Nina Feggestad Barker of Phoenix, Arizona and Highland Park, Illinois and the late Robert H. Barker, Sr. Rob was a 1981 graduate of Lake Forest High School where he excelled in football, wrestling and track. Many of Rob'sfondest memories were of his days as a student at Lake Bluff Junior High and LFHS where he made lifelong and devoted friends. Rob entertainedhis classmates and friends with his joy, great humor and his singing. He will always be remembered for his renditions ofBTO's"Taking Care of Business"and Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog". Rob's infectious, joyful and caring nature touched all who knew him. Rob graduated with a BS from ASU where he served as president of the AEP fraternity. Shortly after graduating Rob went to work for a little known for-profit college called University of Phoenix. In his 20 years with the company Rob earned his MBA and helped the University of Phoenix grow to become the largest private university in the world. Before retiring Rob had risen to the role of Senior Vice President for the Apollo Group, the holding company for University of Phoenix. In this role he oversaw the day-to-day operations of all University of Phoenix campuses throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Rob was known for his unshakable ethics, his visionary leadership and, most importantly, his kindness. After an incredibly successful career with University of Phoenix, Rob retired in 2006 and set out to build his own company. He founded Barker Educational Services Team (BEST) with the intent of helping small colleges and universities launch successful online degree programs. Rob grew his company to over 40 employees that serve colleges throughout the United States. Rob was a very special and caring person who mentored and encouraged so many people. He was very devoted to his family and friends and he was also a matchmaker extraordinaire. One of Rob's final posts on Facebook was a summation of his attitude throughout his life, "Great day to all! Live it and love it." Rob is also survived by his loving family, hissister, Heidi (Donald) Blankenship of Bellevue, Washington; his sister, Tracy Barker of Burr Ridge, Illinois; his brotherand best friend, Paul Barkerof Phoenix, Arizona; nephew, Benjamin Blankenship and nieces, Anabel Blankenship and Chelsea Barker. Rob was preceded in death by his older brother, Eric Matthew Barker, LFHS 1977; and his father, Robert H. Barker, Sr. We ask Rob's friends, teachers and colleagues to share their memories and stories of Rob / Robbie / Bob on the Robert H. Barker Memorial Website. Funeral services were held on April 10th in Newport, Rhode Island.