Chief Baker Offers Condolences on Passing of Betty Starr-Barker
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker offered the following condolences on Tuesday, March 4 on the passing of Cherokee citizen Betty Starr-Barker.
Barker, of Stilwell, Oklahoma served on the Cherokee Nation Registration Committee since April 2013.
“Tonight, we grieve the passing of a beloved Cherokee woman: author, historian, educator and distinguished elder Betty Starr-Barker,” Chief Baker said. “Betty, or ‘Ma Barker,’ as many of us knew her, was a strong and influential force in the Cherokee Nation. Born on her father’s allotment in Adair County, she dedicated her life to serving others and, fortunately for us, the Cherokee Nation. She retired from being an educator after four decades, but her legacy doesn’t end there. She was instrumental in the restoration of the Kansas City Southern Railroad Depot in Stilwell, active in the planning of the Stilwell Strawberry Festival, and was a fixture at countless community and special events in Adair County. Anytime there was something important taking place in Stilwell, I could always count on Ma Barker being there with a big smile and a welcoming hug. The Strawberry Festival will never be the same without her."
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