MALCOLM Barker of Geeston, Ketton, died at his home aged 72.
Malcom grew up in Great Easton with his brother David and was the oldest son of Reg and Norma.
He met Cicely in 1956 and they married in 1960 and had two sons, Stephen and Michael.
One of the last remaining to have to do National Service, Malcolm joined the RAF for five years, spending two of those years in Aden as a fireman.
It was while in Aden his interest in painting extended to signwriting, and self-taught, his talents grew. When he left the RAF the family moved to Ketton and in 1966 he set up his own business working from home.
Blessed with Malcolm’s artistic talent his son Michael joined the business in 1979 and in 1981 moving to larger premises, Stephen, his other son, joined the business too. In 1984 Barker Signs moved to Great Casterton, where the business still remains.
Malcolm continued to work hard and in 2000 semi-retired. He became interested in old vehicles and bought a Jowett Bradford van and then a truck which he lovingly restored. He continued to buy others and joined various car clubs from which he and Cicely made lasting friendships.
Three months ago he had a stroke, and with sheer grit and determination he made a remarkable recovery and was able to carry on signwriting and tinker with his cars again. His sudden collapse came as a massive shock as he was looking better each day.
He will be sadly missed, but it will be of some comfort that his work will be admired for many years to come.
He leaves his widow Cicely, sons Stephen and Michael and grandchildren Emily, Ben, Rosie, Hannah, Rebecca and Sam.
Family mourners included: Cicely Barker, Stephen Barker, Michael Barker, Mandy Barker, Wendy Barker, Emily Barker, Ben Barker, Rosie Barker, Hannah Barker, Rebecca Barker, Sam Barker, David and Kathy Barker, Colin Craythorne, Liz Stanley, Daphne and Herb Wyett, Joyce and Derek Day, Alison and Paul Barnett (Rachel and Michael), Sarah Spicknell, David Bishop, Amy and Ryan Spicknell, Lee Giddings.
Sympathisers included: Claude Smith, Linda Glover, Barbara Woods, Clive and Pauline Wood, Mel and Joan Baxter, Dan Daly (family), Bob and Linda Wright (Mary Holmes), Mr and Mrs B Howard (family), Jack Francis (Joy Francis), Graham and Julie Parnwell, John and Mary Finch (Austin 10 Drivers Club), Mr R Howard, Bill and Linda Howard (Lucas, David, Sam and family), Keith Smith (Fisher Motor Factors), Peter Ball (Betty Ball, Eddie Hunt), Michael and Christine Bettridge, Jane Clarke, David and Tina Ashman, Jack and Cindy Bone (Burghley House BHPT), Noel and Ann Needham (family and David and Cathy Patrick), Jaik Mickleburgh (Paul and Lauren), Jackie Wade (Emily and James Handley, Chris Wade), Sebastian Reho (family), Andrew Pollard (Christine), Lauren Motlin, Cassandra Preston (Denise Reho and family), Katie-Jayne Moseley, Mr and Mrs Paul Durrant (Natalie, Samantha, Betty and James), Sam and Maggie Boon, Andrew Wade and Zoe Fountain (Maurice and Judith Wade), Sheila Rigg, Jack and Margaret Mitchell.
Dusty and Eileen Miller (Skelletts Haulage), Pat and Peter Bisseker (Margaret Ward), Joan and Colin Borley (Janet and David Dykes, Robert and Sue Hadfield), Mavis Tiruchelvam, Sharon and Lyn Giddings, Tony and Angela Mumby, Gordon Easton (GRP Easton), Tony Fisher, Malcolm and Popsy Wells, Tim and Pauline Brown, Joan and Derek Harrison, P H and the Rev Mrs R Nancarrow, George Moore, Tony Spencer, Bill Lock (Diana), Sandy and Carol Wilson, Darryl and Rachel Beecroft (Philip Cope, Alison Hudson), Tracey Barford (Andrew Barford), Paul and Sue Rennie and Bradford (JCC members), Martin Dickinson, Shaun Milne and Emily (John and Pam Milne), Victor Kerr (Robert and Nancy), Geoff Jesson (SAPS), Howard Davis (Lynda), Dr John and Valerie Hennessy, Albert and Margaret White (family), Trevor Ellis (C S Ellis Group Ltd and family), Kevin Cox, David Beever (C S Ellis Group Ltd), Charles and Margaret Crick.
Judith and Ken Kefford, Barrie and Dorothy Holland, Chris and Christine Brandon-Cox, Melvyn Musgrove (Jason Musgrove), Barry Hodgett (Shaun Hodgett), Steve Musgrove (Christine Musgrove and family), Andy Sylvester, Carol and Albert Ratcliffe (Rutland Organ and Keyboard Music Club), Bernard Mason, Andrew Hindmarch (family), Gerald Clarke (Lilian Clarke), Michael Dolby (Valerie Dolby, Tony Bowley), Mike and Mary Lyne, Alec and Maureen Fairbrother, Vic and Margaret Harrison (20/49 Motor Club), Mr and Mrs Pete King, Den and Betty Smith, Wendy and Malcolm Oliver, Jon Rochead (Lorraine Boon), Ian Roberts (Julia, Archie and Seth), Roland Easson (Colin Easson Motors), Don Skillett (Mildred Skillett, Lydia and Tony Wilson), Kevin Lewis, Michael Dickinson, Fred Addison, Garry Featherstone, Chris Raeburn, Andrew Parker (Hanson Cement and Mr J Parker), Barrie and Christine Higgins (Trevor and Liz Jackson.
Nigel and Joy Eastland), Mick Higgins (Sue Higgins, W H Higgins and Sons Ltd), Barry Chrisp (20/49 Motor Club), John Seed, Brian Cox (Eileen Cox, 20/49 Motor Club), Kevin and Chris Howard (Howard Wooden Packaging), Tony and Yvonne Crow (Alan and Cheryl Crow), Raymond and Theresa Burrows, Elaine Upton (Neil and Thomas Upton), N Wann (Ginner; T Ellis), Neil Frith, Bill and Diane Sharpe (Andrew Nourish), John Roberts and Lesley Fuller (20/49 Club), Philip Shotbolt (Susie Shotbolt), Daniel Abbott (Edith Weston Committee, George Heys, Julia Hutchins), Tom Boon (Carl Crisp), Charlotte Salt, Alec Rose (Chris Rose and family), Brian Laurence, Liz and Stephen Bingham (family), Glenys and Craig Ainge, Andrew McDonald (George, Isla and Struan McDonald), Chris Jackson, John Sylvestor, Richard Naylor, Nigel Young, Melvyn Burrows (B & S Motors), Alan Cliffe, Ron and Cynthia Foster, Christine Ockendon, Belinda Mickleburgh (Joy Calton), Chris and Elaine Parker, Barbara and Ken Poulton, Mrs P Smith (Mr S Smith), Les and Nancy White, Sue and David Mason.
Wendy and Gordon Cooper, Sue and Andrew Hughes, Stewart Jackson, John Copeland, Ian Potts, Simon Plowman (Sayers), Shaun Arthur, David Holland, Ray and Shirley Berrisford, Gary and Wendy Davis, Brydon Frith, Rob Marvin, Mel and Pete Dawson (Andrew and Kirsty), Nick Went, Alan Oliver, Andrew Woodhouse (Alan Long).