Gloria Barker, a founder of distributor Barker Specialty Company in Cheshire, Connecticut, passed away on October 22 in Hollywood, Florida. She was 88.

Barker and her husband, Herbert, founded and ran a number of businesses over the years, including Connecticut Remembrance Advertising and Novelty Company (Cranco), Superior Wholesale Gifts, Upham’s Department Stores, Golden Skillet Fried Chicken, Barker Specialty Company, and most recently- the Barker Animation Art Galleries.

She was a member of many community boards and commissions and involved with numerous charitable organizations. The couple supported and donated to dozens of charities including Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options, SOIL – Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, The Boys and Girls Club and Embrace Girls foundation. They also donated artwork to various local nonprofits during an annual event called “Art From the Heart” in South Florida and worked with both the Aventura Marketing Council and Dania Beach Chamber of Commerce.  

Barker is survived by her children: Amy Barker; Gerry and Debbi Barker; Steven and Susan Barker; and Adrienne and Alan Anctil; her grandchildren: Alivia Barker; Maxwell Barker; Harrison Barker; Sophia Barker; Alex and Corie Coleman; Samuel Coleman; Rudolph Barker; and Alanna Anctil; and great-granddaughter Makeila Coleman.

Donations may be made in Gloria’s memory to JAFCO at, Chabad Chayil at and Soil Haiti at