Glenna Joy Park Barker

October 30, 1929 ~ February 2, 2021

Though always cheerful, Glenna Joy Park was born “smoking” on an ominous day – tucked between the stock market crash and Halloween of 1929. There were only two doctors in Tooele at the time – one Mormon and one not – and fortunately, this bishop’s daughter had the latter, because when she failed to breath, he calmly asked for his pipe, took a puff, and blew smoke down her throat. She coughed and then gave up the habit.

Growing up, Glenna never fought with her sister, Marion, but she did whack her brother, Sam, with a hanger now and again. She made up for it by doing his homework, and when he graduated from high school, her parents gave her a present, too. Glenna was also the reluctant winner of a ward beauty contest (becoming the Gold & Green queen) that someone had entered her in. It hadn’t required her presence, but she was embarrassed to have to pick up the prize.

Glenna loved the church and served a Mormon mission in the New England states. After breaking a few hearts, she married James L. Barker, jr. to become Glenna Park Barker and the mother of three children – Jim, Sam, and Mary – for whom she wrote stories and songs. At some point, her family got her into horse racing. Though she’d never been an animal person (as she put it, “Marion had a cat, Sam had a dog, and I had books”), she could rattle off quarter horse bloodlines as well as any lay person. She also became a whiz at the financial management of the family business.

Glenna loved to learn, had a degree in both English and History, was fascinated by astronomy, and was a member of Author’s Club and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She also took every class at the Mormon Institute of Religion, from which she graduated, and regularly
attended BYU Education Week. She shared her love and knowledge of the gospel by writing papers, leading study groups, and serving as a gospel doctrine teacher. She was also a Relief Society president and a docent on Temple Square and at the Museum of Church History and Art.
Mostly a homemaker, Glenna worked a few years for her brother at Marie Calendar Pies and at the Boy Scout office. With her independent streak, she once left her husband to manage the family for a few weeks in order to travel to the Holy Land. Another time, she stayed the night in
Wendover to gamble.

She shared a love of antiques with her sister, Marion; enjoyed the Shakespeare festival in Cedar City; and played a mean hand of bridge. Before arthritis set in, she also played the piano.

Mostly, Glenna was a kind and loving person. She was The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein) and made many sacrifices for others to fulfil their dreams and be happy. She was always grateful to her good and loving family, especially her parents, Samuel Park and Mary Isabell Adamson Park.

Preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her son, Sam, Glenna is mourned by her siblings, her two living children, and her grandchildren – Tricia Torgensen, Heather Torgensen, Matthew Barker, Daniel Cascallar, and Sarah Cascallar – as well as by nephews, nieces, and


First off, we have to say that her childhood picture reminds us of Mary. We enjoyed reading about Glenna's early life. She became a very dear neighbor when we moved next door to the Barker family on Emerson Avenue in the early 1990's. She was never without a smile and her beautiful eyes reflected kindness, wit, and intelligence. We can still hear her laughter. Since moving away from Emerson in 2011, we have missed the waves, the goody exchanges, the conversations, and just knowing our neighbors were there. We watched out for each other and for our homes when one of us traveled away. Our memories are fond of the Barker family and we mourn with you, Mary and Jim, Marion and Sam, along with the grandchildren and other family, at her loss--hoping that time will give you peace and balance. Glenna gave the best of what she was to others.

- LaRetta and Walter Arabasz
Mary, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. When we moved into Yale 2nd ward she was so sweet to me. She was my absolute favorite primary teacher ever. She always took special care of me because my parents rarely came to church. She will be missed. Our families have had a special relationship for many years and I’m so grateful for that. Love Margaret

- Margaret Barnes
What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Mary! I'm so sorry for your loss, but was touched to learn so many fun things about Glenna. Sending so much love from me and Mom. Monica

- Monica Pasqual
Lamento mucho la pérdida de tu mami, siempre recibimos un trato muy cariñoso de su parte. El día que la conocí fue el día que llegué por primera vez a SLC, y yo no sabía ni una palabra de Inglés. Una Dama en toda la extensión de la palabra. Te mando mis sentimientos de solidaridad y espero que encuentren confort con el bello recuerdo de tu mamá.

- Sergio Hernandez Aranda
What a wonderful tribute to your mom Mary! Great stories well written. And so glad you included photos from varying stages of her life. I remember fondly her smile and cheery voice whenever she would answer the door or phone. My heart is with you and your family.

- Amy Dixon