Bellevue Labor Day Grand Marshals Pat and Faye Barker are Bellevue natives who represent the pioneering heritage of the Wood River Valley. Next year, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Though the Barkers are retired, they stay busy. Their children are grown up, married and raising families of their own, but Pat maintains the family’s farm equipment and keeps the place looking good. Faye creates beautiful pieces of art for their lawn and home. They value the simple, wonderful things in life, like the enjoyment of watching a grandson learning to drive a manual transmission car around Grandpa’s barn.
Happiness for the Barkers is family reunions with grandchildren running around the land that has seen one generation succeed another. Their contentment in life is due in large part to their children and grandchildren who live nearby. Reward for hard work is wintering in Arizona with friends and relatives.
Pat and Faye will be joined on the grand marshal wagon by their family: son, Curt, and his wife, Vicki Barker, of Bellevue; daughter Crystal and her husband, Dirk Helder, of Boise, with their children, Kaden and Kaitlyn; and daughter Cindy and her husband, Dan Karst, of Bellevue, and their children, Ashley and Devin.
Pat’s grandfather, Hiram Barker, arrived in Blaine County in November 1914. He kept his family and stock alive by wintering in a granary located in the southern part of the Bellevue Triangle. Winter wasn’t the greatest time to land in Blaine County, but they survived the winter to plant their family roots deep that spring.
Pat and Faye still own parts of the original homestead on Gannett Road, south of Bellevue. Faye started work with the U.S. Post Office in Bellevue in 1968, where she smiled through 31 years of service. She served as postmaster from 1991 until 1999 when she retired.
Pat’s father, Curtis, was a farmer, sheep herder and cattle rancher. Curtis met his wife, Evalyn Shoemaker, through her brothers. Curtis needed a cook and the Shoemaker brothers had a sister.
“Although Mom would have rather been out baling hay than inside cooking, she was a great cook,” said Pat.
An amazing woman by all accounts, Evalyn lived at their home on Gannet Road until she passed away in 1998, seven years after Curtis. Curtis and Evalyn raised four children—Mick, Pat, Carla and Cheri Lynn.
Pat and Faye started going steady in the 1950s. Faye was in seventh grade and Pat in eighth at the Bellevue school. After a stint in the Marine Corps during the early 1960s, Pat brought Faye and their first-born son, Curt, back home to Idaho, picking up right where he’d left off, raising sheep and cattle, farming and raising a family with Faye.
Daughters Crystal and Cindy joined the family over the next few years.
Faye’s roots are just as deeply entrenched in Bellevue and Blaine County. Her father, Halbert Hatch, migrated from Missouri to Idaho as a young teenager. He met and married Inez Wyckoff, and the couple settled on a ranch on Baseline Road to raise their four children, Gene, Max, Bob and Faye.
Halbert and Inez were very deeply involved in the community. Halbert served as an alderman for Bellevue in the early 1960s and won the 1972 election to become mayor. He served on the school board for the Bellevue school for many years through the 1950s.
After he retired from all of his other occupations, Halbert kept busy as a Bald Mountain ski lift operator. Inez, Faye’s mother, was a school lunch cook at the Bellevue school through the mid-1970s (think homemade cinnamon rolls).
After Inez retired from the School District, she cooked for the Hailey Hospital and Moritz Hospital. Halbert and Inez were both involved in Bellevue Labor Day community picnics, which were held in the area now known as Howard Preserve.
Throughout Pat and Faye Barker’s years of farming, working and raising their children, they were involved with community events. They also contributed to the Howard Preserve Labor Day celebrations, shucking corn, making sandwiches and cutting meat to serve to crowds. People would arrive to listen to the fiddlers and other local musicians. When the work was done and folks were fed, it was time to relax, visit and spend time with friends and family.
This year, the Barkers will relax as they ride through town in the honorary position as grand marshals.
Kaitlyn Farrington honorary grand marshal
2014 Sochi Winter Olympics snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington put Bellevue on the map last winter and received a hero’s welcome upon her return. Now, she’s an honorary grand marshal. She has been known for slipping her gold medal over friends’ heads and snapping a picture of them wearing it. “Kaitlyn is also a generous person, who knows how to give back to the programs, community and family which gave her encouragement when things were tough,” states a memo by the Bellevue Labor Day Committee. “She’s the adult, who remembers what it was like to be a child with gold-medal dreams. Kaitlyn is a woman that we are proud to have as our honorary grand marshal. We are proud of her earning a gold medal. We are even more proud of the woman who has set an example for her generation of determination, work ethic, spirit, humility, and yes, achievements. Kaitlyn represents the best of our present and our future.”