Marty Barker, 65

Marty Barker, 65, of Collegeville, husband of Debbie (Hume) Barker, passed away peacefully Friday March 3, 2023 in his home. He was surrounded by his family and the love of all who knew him..

Born in Yonkers, NY, he was the son of George Barker and the late Patricia (Tuohy) Barker.

Marty had a lifelong love of sports. He loved playing in them, watching them and supporting friends and family when they played. His boxes of medals and ribbons date back to 1967 (2nd place in 10/11 year old 150 yard dash, 3rd place in the 100 and 200 dash in speed skating). In 8th grade he completed a 5-mile endurance swim. In high school he was a pole vaulter and ran track. He was a varsity letterman in cross country all four years of high school, varsity track for three years and captained the cross-country team in 1975. Even after an accident in 1976 left him paralyzed he continued in sports, inspiring other paraplegics residing at the Rusk Rehab Institute to challenge a team of paraplegics at another rehab center to a wheelchair basketball game. His team (Rusk’s Fractured Ducks) won the game 20-17.

He graduated from Lakeland High School in Shrub Oak, NY in 1976 and in 1986 he graduated from West Chester Community College with a degree in recreation. For the next 40+ years he played on wheelchair softball and basketball teams. He swam, skied, wheeled through road races and loved to scuba dive. In 1983, he won a gold medal in Hawaii at the National Wheelchair Games. His activities promoted the spreading of handicap awareness and allowed him to travel around the country, Canada and Puerto Rico. At a local level, he served on Yorktown’s Committee for Disabled advocating for increased awareness of the problems faced by the disabled population. He was a man of great strength, integrity and determination.

Marty worked at Bristol Myers Squib for 35 years. He began in Connecticut and later moved to locations in New Jersey. In 2008 he married his wife Debbie, barefoot on a beach in Jamaica. He welcomed her three children into his loving family and later was blessed with two granddaughters who he adored. When he retired in 2021, he created a workshop in his garage and spent hours making many intricate and fun creations that he shared with family and friends.

Marty was a kind man with a ready smile. He loved spending time with his family and friends. He was beloved and admired by all who knew him. He was a quiet and attentive listener, eager to engage with all and always ready with a corny joke or a new trick. He enjoyed hard sandy beaches, warm dives, cold beer, woodworking, brain teasers, backyard barbeques, dancing and scuba. But most of all he loved his family.

Surviving along with his wife and father are his sisters Laura Donelan and husband Eddie, Colleen Negersmith, his step children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister Kate and brother-in-law Kent Negersmith.

A Celebration of Life memorial luncheon will be held for friends and family from noon to 3:00 p.m. at Chadwick,s, The Club at Shannondell in Audobon, PA. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Marty’s memory to The Reef Ball Foundation to support its work to preserve aquatic habitat and shorelines. (

Add My Condolences

The remarkable thing about close cousins is that when you have known each other from childhood through adulthood there is no misrepresenting of each other’s fundamental essential self. From the earliest of encounters till the last we were together the smiles the love the sharing of life experiences all flow and untangle to form our shared life’s story.
I’ll always remember Marty as I’ve always known him along with his welcoming smile, his smiling eyes and our life long conversation.

~ Robyn Johnson Milford, CT
3/28/2023 1:38:11 PM

Marty lit up any room. His positivity and smile were contagious. Marty was always willing to help everyone. Being at BMS so long he knew everyone. His pride and joy was his family. He always told beautiful stories about how quickly the grandchildren were growing and what amazing woodworking project he was making them. I certainly missed his stories and updates when he retired. He will be very missed but remembered as the kind hearted man he was. Rest in Peace dear Marty.

~ Jena Feiner
3/21/2023 3:38:24 PM

I will always miss and love my child neighbors. Marty has always been a great friend and his family has always been a support to all who been fortunate to know them.

~ Jeff Moenig
3/17/2023 11:13:54 AM

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Marty in person.
However, from the interactions I had with him on the phone, I will always remember him as the most optimistic person I have ever met, even though life has not treated him very well.
He could easily pass you the joy of living by his remarkable laughter and attitude.
Moreover, he did not give you one reason to be sad, but always gave you 1000 reasons to be grateful for. Marty is a person one always will remember. Wishing you lots of strength in this difficult time.

~ Linda Cuypers
3/14/2023 6:38:47 AM

I worked with Marty at BMS. I would often chat with him during lunch. He was always positive and cheerful and a great inspiration to me. He will be dearly missed.

~ Sujata Balakrishna ROBBINSVILLE, NJ
3/13/2023 6:10:39 PM

Marty was a great person and one of the kindest I have ever known. When I started working at BMS in 1999, Marty was one of the first people I met. From then on, he was a great friend. We often spent time talking and taking walks at lunch time. I will always remember his jokes and theories, which we called Barkerisms. Marty will be missed by many. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

~ Scott Bogstahl Manasquan, NJ
3/13/2023 2:58:10 PM

Marty was one of the happiest, most positive people I have known. He was always ready with a smile and a greeting. Marty was a giving soul, whether collaborating on a work issue or sharing his handcrafted gifts with colleagues during the holidays. Sending prayers for Marty and his family during this difficult time.

~ Kerry Somers
3/13/2023 1:11:54 PM

Dear Debbie and Family,
My sincere condolences on Marty's passing. I worked with Marty at BMS for over 15 years. He was so kind and warm and he always had time to say 'hi' and have a chat no matter how busy he may have been. One time he showed me the wooden puzzles he was creating for his grandkids. He was so excited to have that new hobby to keep him busy in retirement. He would glow with happiness at the mention of his family. Marty was one of kind and he will not soon be forgotten.

~ Suzie Stocker Yardley, PA
3/13/2023 12:49:37 PM

I had the privilege of working with Marty at the BMS Hopewell campus for many years prior to his retirement. He was someone you could always count on to help you with any safety database issues you were having, and he was eager to help. He timed his retirement just right avoiding the relocation to Lawrenceville, the Celgene acquisition, the transition to a new safety database, and the COVID pandemic! I have missed our occasional chats, and always looked forward to catching up with him regarding his latest fishing trips. I most recently saw him when he visited the office to have lunch with his former co-workers. He showed me some pictures of his woodworking, and his talent was really an amazing gift. I pray for his wife Debbie and his family that they will be comforted in knowing that they were his world. He loved Debbie so much and would talk fondly of their adventures. Rest peacefully Marty knowing that the legacies you created will continue. Your smile and charm will never be forgotten here at BMS or by those closest to you. My deepest sympathies. -Allison Adamousky

~ Allison Adamousky Yardley, PA
3/13/2023 12:48:01 PM

My sincerest condolences with the passing of Marty. We were colleagues and worked together directly and indirectly for some years. I am sad to hear he has passed. You are in my thoughts and I wish you strength. Wim

~ Wim van der Spuij Duillier, Vaud
3/13/2023 12:40:37 PM

I met Marty at Colleen’s wedding and also at Dawn’s wedding. He was an unforgettable personality filling a room with enthusiasm and energy. Whenever I think of Colleen I include Marty and in fact the whole Barker clan.
Rest in peace Marty you are an inspiration to others who are making their dreams come true

~ Dawn Spradlin
3/13/2023 11:15:41 AM

I worked with Marty at BMS for 15 yrs, and always loved to stop and talk with him (work topic or otherwise!), and always found him to have a kind word or a little joke. Marty was beacon of light in an environment where it was often needed, and he will be missed. Via con Dios mi Hermano.

~ Bill Dowling Old Saybrook, CT
3/13/2023 8:39:53 AM

Love you guys. No words can begin to describe how wonderful Marty was and all the memories we all shared. Concerts, dancing wherever there was dancing. He was one of a kind. RIP Marty.

~ MaryKay Daughney Paradox, NY
3/11/2023 6:29:10 PM

Marty and I worked closely together at BMS for many years. He had a big heart and he was great fun to be with. He was an amazing person. I shall miss him.
Debbie and family, I am so sorry for your loss.

~ Doreen Vossen
3/11/2023 4:17:08 PM

I met Marty during my college years when Laura, Colleen and I lived together in New Paltz. He was a sweetheart and I remember him always having a smile on his face! I have a great picture of him and Laura at a college concert where she’s sitting in his lap. Rest In Peace Marty. You will be missed by so many, especially your loving family.

~ Kathy Hoff Knauss Wappingers Falls, NY
3/11/2023 8:35:10 AM

Deb So sorry for your loss You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers

~ Dorothy Englert
3/10/2023 10:12:08 PM

Oh Debby I am so sorry. My heart is with you. Still catholic? I moved here over a year ago. I’ll have a mass said for him.?? 307-871-3425

~ Sharon corhn DeSoto, IL
3/10/2023 9:08:49 PM

Marty you will be missed. Spent many hours talking with you at BMS. Still remember the morning you called to tell me about Chris Baldwin. RIP my dear friend. Deb my thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult and emotional time.

~ Caroline Bellan
3/10/2023 8:38:25 PM

Love always my friend

~ Don Johnson
3/10/2023 6:01:52 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'll keep you in your family in my prayers

~ Patricia Gragilla Levittown, PA
3/10/2023 5:39:31 PM

Deb, what a lovely man, I am so sorry of you're huge loss.

~ Heather Reese Lobdell
3/10/2023 3:46:31 PM

Debbie, prayers for your and your family’s loss. Marty was one of a kind. The world was better and brighter because of him. He will be missed.

~ Karen Johnson Charlotte, NC
3/10/2023 2:20:56 PM