Lieutenant Delbert Denton Barker, Sr.

Delbert was born December 3, 1932, in Frenchburg, Kentucky to Alvin Beatty and Sarah Nina (Langworthy) Barker. His family moved to Middletown in about 1946 and he attended Middletown High School until at least 1950.

As a teen, he was winning talent shows and signed a contract with a weekly country show on WCKY-TV. He then joined the WCPO’s “Merry-Go-Round” Gang and worked with Bob Braun, Paul Dixon, and Uncle Al.

On January 23, 1953, at the age of 21, he married Alma Jean Pence.

Delbert joined the Middletown Police Department as a Patrolman about 1957. By 1970, he had been promoted to Detective. Within two more years, he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1972, he wrote a hit song, sung by Charlie Pride, You almost Slipped my Mind. In October 1975, in his musical persona, he entertained prisoners, including some that he put there, at the Lebanon Correction Institute. In October 1981, he shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, Mac Davis, Eddie Rabbit, and other award winners in Nashville. We believe Lieutenant Barker retired about mid-1984 with 26 years of service to his community.

He also attended the Christian Enterprise Baptist Church and was a 32nd Degree Mason for the Jefferson Masonic Lodge #90.

Lieutenant Barker died at his home surrounded by family on March 5, 2024. At the age of 91, he was Middletown Police Department’s oldest retiree.

He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Alma Jean (Pence) Barker (2018); and siblings, Raymond Barker, Clayton Barker, and Cuba May Hall. Lieutenant Barker is survived by his son, Delbert Barker, Jr., and adopted daughter, Tamara Finn.

A visitation will be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, March 11, 2024 at the Swart Funeral Home at 207 E. Central Avenue in West Carrollton, Rev. James Anderson officiating. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at the Woodside Cemetery in Middletown.

Memorial contributions may be made to his son Delbert Barker, Jr. to assist with expenses.


© 2024 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum