Of Chelsea, Michigan, age 87, died after a short illness on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at his home, surrounded by his family. He was born May 14, 1936 in Covington, Indiana, the son of Carl & Mildred (Small) Barkley.
Fred served in the US Navy during the Korean war as a Quarter Master 3 Navigator. He had a lengthy career in public service, culminating in a sixteen-year tenure as Parks & Recreation Director of Washtenaw County, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Eastern Michigan University. Fred was an active member of the community. He was a member of the Chelsea Kiwanis in the 70's and 80's, a member of the Caribou Lake Association, a member of Kappa Phi Alpha fraternity at EMU, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Fred was a volunteer handyman for Neighborhood Senior Services for many years. He was an avid coin collector, woodworker, fisherman, boater, golfer, and reader. He enjoyed spending time at his cottage on Caribou Lake, and he especially enjoyed spending time with his family.

On August 19, 1961, he married Judith Major in Allen Park, and she survives. Other survivors include two children, Patrick (Jeanne) Barkley of Downers Grove, IL, Kelly Barkley of Grass Lake; 3 grandchildren, Trevor (Olivia) Asperger of Grass Lake, Jalen (Courtney Garner) Asperger of Phoenix, AZ, Matthew Elliott of Grass Lake; a great-granddaughter, Sophie Jane Layher; a brother, Michael (Brenda) Barkley; a sister, Barbara (Jerry) Styers; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers, Dale and Charles Barkley.

A celebration of life will be held at Pierce Lake Golf Course at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Arrangements were entrusted to Cole Funeral Chapel, Chelsea.

You may share a memory or leave a message for Fred's family using the form below.  Please allow up to 24 hours for us to review and post your comments.  


#8 Todd & Joan Mccloud 2023-05-30 16:13
We are so sorry for your loss. Fred was absolutely the best! As our home is on Caribou Lake, we had many opportunities to share time with Fred. He helped with Caribou Lake Association and was a man of honor.
Rest in peace and may you all find comfort with family.
Hugs, Joan and Todd
#7 Virginia Harvey 2023-05-26 09:41
Fred was our next door neighbor in Grass Lake for many years. Our kids were friends. Judy, I am so sorry to learn of Fred's passing. Please know that our thoughts are with you, Pat and Kelly. May peace be with you.
#6 Patti Mitchell 2023-05-25 18:18
Fred and Judy were next door neighbors of ours on Queen Oaks for many years. This is very sad news to hear. Fred was a good neighbor and friend. One we could always count on for help or advice. Lonnie was always so impressed with Fred’s extensive collection of tools and Fred was always willing to loan one out if needed. I smiled when I read that Fred was an actual handyman. He retrieved, on more than one occasion, several pieces of my jewelry that had gone down the bathroom drain, for which I was so grateful. Lonnie and Fred were among several members over the years that met monthly for lively Investment Club meetings, talking stocks and eating baked goods. Judy and family, we are thinking of you all at this time. Please know that Fred made a difference in this world for so may of us - Patti and Lonnie Mitchell.
#5 Mr. & Mrs. Ball 2023-05-25 09:49
Kelly & Family,
We are so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Thank you Mr. Barkley for your service ! You are all in our continued thoughts and prayers.
Billy & Sarah Ball
#4 Dale Olen Barkley II 2023-05-25 06:54
R.I.P uncle Fred! I love and will miss you!!!
#3 Mr. & Mrs. Ball 2023-05-24 17:22
Kelly & Family,
We are so very sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Please know you and your family are in our continued thoughts and prayers.
Billy & Sarah
#2 Bill & Tootie Ackley 2023-05-24 16:53
My heart goes out to Judy, Kelly and Pat. We enjoyed many vacations together and hanging out at the cottage. Fred was an inspiration to those in his midst. He will be truly missed by many. R.I.P. Mr. Fred.
#1 Christine Arbogast 2023-05-24 16:29
Kelly and family,
I’m so sorry for your loss! Praying your happy memories bring you comfort.

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