Seth L. Barker

Mon, 02/14/2022 - 9:00am

Seth Lawrence Barker, 75, of East Boothbay passed away at his home on Feb. 10, 2022. He was surrounded by his wife, his three daughters, his niece, and two granddaughters after a courageous battle with cancer.

Seth was born Jan. 17, 1947 in Portland, Maine to George and Inga-Lill (Forsman) Barker. He graduated from Deering High School, the University of Maine-Orono and studied at the University of Delaware. After a series of jobs, Seth enjoyed a 30-year long career as marine biologist for the Department of Marine Resources. His eelgrass studies helped develop the science of “indicator species” – using one species as an indicator of the health of the ecosystem. Seth also served on the State of Maine Oil Spill Response team, contributing to clean up efforts of Portland Harbor in 1996 and later volunteering in Louisiana following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In his “retirement,” Seth and his partners began a seaweed aquaculture business.

Always active and outdoors, Seth was an avid backcountry skier, winter camper, and hiker. He hiked and skied Tuckerman’s Ravine nearly every winter into his 70s, often in the company of his nephews Jon and Geoff Keating and a myriad of other friends.

A keen observer, he loved identifying plant and animal species. Seth was a natural teacher, sharing his knowledge and love of nature with schools and land trust walks. He would often scoop a bucket of seawater on his way to a school and help students discover the variety of life in the bucket.

Seth was remarkably humble, willing to admit what he didn’t know and eager to learn more. He was a Yankee in the best sense of the term – hard working, given to understatement, deeply loyal and committed to building and fixing everything he owned himself. He saw the best in people and cared deeply about others. He could often be found volunteering his time with the Woodchucks of Boothbay Harbor, the Boothbay Fire Department and local search and rescue teams.

Seth is survived by his wife Martha; his daughters Amy Barker, Sarah (and Ben) Lucas and Stephanie Barker; grandchildren Misha Barker (and Chris McLaughlin) Barker, Kai Lucas, Breton Lucas, and Zoe Martel; his brother David Barker and sister Judy (and Paul Keating) Barker; niece Heather Barker; nephews Keith Barker, Jonathan and Geoffry Keating; and Italian-exchange daughter Cristina Bocedi.

His family have much appreciation for the many local friends who have been so helpful to Seth and Martha through this hard winter. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail P.O. Box 557 Bradford, NH 03221.