Fred W. Barkman, 70, originally from Chester NJ died on January 20, 2017 with his family at his side. He was born in Somerville and graduated from Roxbury High School in 1964.
Fred, his twin brother Walter and the Barkman family farmed in Flanders for many years, raising a herd of dairy cattle and other livestock. Fred also worked for many other family farms in the area including Rolling Green Farm in Long Valley. Farming was his first love.
In the early 70’s, after working for several years for Conover Brothers Bus Company in Chester, Fred and his brother started Barkman Buses Inc. and later Progressive Charter in Boonton and Fred soon settled into a long career in the charter bus business. He quickly became the ‘go to’ guy for organizing and leading small and large group tours and through the next 40 years, maintained close relationships with hundreds of tour leaders and companies who sought him out not just for his knowledge and expertise but his love of his work, his dedication to always going above and beyond and the smile that never seemed to end. At the time of his death, Fred was working for E. Vanderhoof and Sons in West Orange.
During the 80’s, Fred also traveled as the tour operator and driver with Grammy award winning jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and his band. On their 1980 album, It’s My Time, the band wrote and dedicated a song to Fred called Spirit of St. Frederick. Fred’s music of choice was country music but he loved Maynard and the band and the Spirit of St. Frederick.
Fred was predeceased by his twin brother Walter R. Barkman in 2015 and by his parents Radford W. and Virginia (nee Newton) Barkman. He is survived by his sister Cynthia L. Barkman and her husband Ron J. Caruso of Long Valley, nephew Walter R. Barkman and his wife Navah of Newton, 5 nieces and nephews; David, Josh, Ruth, Tamara, and Robert, his sister-in-law Kathleen Barkman of Randolph as well as many close friends including Carlos Diez of Lake Hiawatha.
Friends may visit at Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ 973-584-7264
(davishepplewhitefh.com) on Monday from 3 – 8 pm. The Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, 10 AM, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 283 James Street in Morristown, with the interment to follow at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Chester.
Donations in Fred’s memory are welcome to the American Cancer Society.