Nelma (Rash) Barker

September 8, 1926 ~ April 29, 2018 (age 91)

Nelma Barker, age 91, a resident of Plummer, Idaho, passed away Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Ivy Court in Coeur d’Alene where she has made her home for the past month.

Nelma was born September 8, 1926 at Menan, Idaho to Melvin and Helen (Poole) Rash.   In 1931, the family moved to St. Maries, ID where she started her schooling.  The family moved to Plummer, Idaho in 1933 and Nelma finished grade school and high school there, graduating from Plummer High School in 1945.

Nelma married Louie Bertholf in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and the couple made their home in Plummer where they started their family.   Mr. Bertholf worked as a logger in Northern Idaho, and Nelma was a homemaker.      In 1955, Nelma went back to school at North Idaho Junior College and earned her teaching degree.   She was an elementary school teacher and taught in Northern Idaho, Montana, and Alaska.   She taught school for 32 years during her lifetime.  She was divorced from Louis Bertholf in 1962.  

Nelma married Charles Barker on July 13, 1985 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.   They made their home in Saltese, Montana.  Charles died in 1986.   Nelma then moved to Superior, Montana where she lived until returning to Plummer in 1995.

She was a 50 + year member of the Eastern Star Lodge at St. Maries and a member of the Baptist Church.  Her hobbies included crocheting, sewing, reading, working crossword puzzles and other handcrafts.

She is survived by her daughter, Willowdean ‘Billy’ Sperber of Plummer, Idaho; 2 Grandchildren and 9 Great Grandchildren, and 1 great great granddaughter.  Also surviving are brothers Ben Rash of Lewiston, ID, Jim Rash of Salem, OR, Melvin Rash of Boise, ID, and John Rash of Moses Lake, WA; sisters Willowdean Kennedy of Salem, OR, Noreen Lea of Rockaway, OR, and Joan Garland of Mead, WA.

She was preceded in death by a daughter Elouise Bertholf, brothers Merlin and Kenneth, and sisters Barbara Koester and Troy Jean Sowers, and a grandson Jim.

At her request, no services will be held.  Her urn will be placed in Goldenrod Cemetery in Tekoa.  Memorial gifts may be given to the Shriners Hospital for Children or to the charity of the donor’s choice.   Kramer Funeral Home of Tekoa, Washington is caring for the family.   Online condolences may be left at

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