Cover photo for Dr. Bruce Craig Barker's Obituary
Dr. Bruce Craig Barker Profile Photo

Dr. Bruce Craig Barker

September 19, 1956 — January 7, 2024

San Francisco, California

Dr. Bruce Craig Barker

Dr. Bruce Craig Barker, 67, a native of San Francisco, CA, passed away quietly in his sleep on January 07, 2024, after a short battle with cancer.

Bruce was born on September 19, 1956, in San Francisco, California to Herbert H. Barker and Virginia C. Cobb who preceded him in death. After graduating from Lowell High School in 1974, he went on to study biology at Stanford University, where he played football as a defensive end on an academic scholarship. He was director of The Stanford Black Pre-Medical Organization. He pledged Alpha Phi Alpha, Nu Sigma, with his line name of "Yoda". He founded more Chapters, pledging and mentoring men, and committing to remove hazing from fraternity culture within the Chapters. He graduated from medical school in 1984 and entered a General Surgery residency at U.C. San Francisco. Bruce spent seven years in residency, including a Chief Residency and two years as a fellow in clinical nutrition research. He often spoke of being among the first African American men to finish surgery residency at UC San Francisco. In 1984, he met Melissa Welch, and they wed in 1990, going on to have three children, Cicely, Kevin, and Celeste, completing his ‘fairy tale’ life.

Dr. Barker’s work as a surgeon had an impact on so many lives in all the communities he worked in. He was known as "Doc" and revered for his selfless commitment to helping others. He worked as a surgeon at Kaiser, San Francisco, California, for 18 years; on weekends he volunteered with Operation Access providing free surgery to those with limited resources. Bruce finished his career as a surgeon/hospitalist at Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, California, where he was deeply loved and respected by his surgical family colleagues. 

Bruce was unendingly proud of his family, the birth of his children, and always tried his best to support them. He valued his faith, putting God first in his life, his sobriety of 25 years, and cherished mornings. Cooking came naturally to Bruce, as well as dominating in Scrabble, Chess, and Sudoku. When a new Star Wars movie came out, Bruce could often be found at the movie theater with popcorn. He also shared with his family his love of the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life," making it one of the family’s annual Christmas traditions. Bruce is survived by his immediate family, and a large, extended family.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests that donations be made in Bruce’s name to Narcotics Anonymous or the American Cancer Society.

To order memorial trees in memory of Dr. Bruce Craig Barker, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, February 3, 2024

11:30am - 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

Livestream

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Livestream of Memorial Service

Saturday, February 3, 2024

11:30am - 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

https://youtube.com/live/M9afvShnzgY?feature=share

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Reception

Saturday, February 3, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel

6920 Destiny Dr,, Rocklin, CA 95677

Please RSVP to Ashlee.Cato1@gmail.com

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