Elizabeth Ann Emerson Barker died peacefully at home Sunday, April 03, in Camden, South Carolina.
Ann was born May 5, 1931 and was the youngest child of Dr. Jesse Rutledge Emerson II and Mary Ann Price of Gainesville, Florida. She attended PK Yonge developmental school in Gainesville where she was a member of the cheerleading team. Her older brother, Jesse also attended the same school. An avid horsewoman from an early age, Ann began her riding career showing her American Saddlebred in local horse shows in North Florida.
Ann was a model for Life magazine in the early 1950’s. She traveled the world, and nurtured her four children, Jesse, Susan, Gerry and Ann with love and determination, always sharing her strong love of nature, plants and animals.
Ann covered the sport of steeple chasing during it's heyday in the 1980s, contributing regularly to the Chronicle of the Horse magazine, as well as the Daily Racing Form. She helped produce the Oxmoor and Hardscuffle races in Kentucky, as well as the Colonial Cup and several other races in the Carolinas and Virginia. She became the beat writer for the Racing Form for the Atlantic City, New Jersey track, as well as the winter racing meet at the Calder track, until she retired in the early-1990s. Ann also published a booklet entitled "A Guide to Steeplechasing in America" and was writing a novel before she died.
Ann settled in Camden and never gave up the hope of a college degree. She promptly took advantage of the free South Carolina educational opportunity at the University of South Carolina, taking nearly a full degree course of studies while in her late 60s. She became a certified Master Gardener, and left every residence she owned prettier than she found it. An antique furniture expert, Ann also maintained a sharp eye for bargains she could restore to original beauty.
Ann is survived by three children, Jesse, retired Colonel, US Marine Corps, Gerry, Commander, US Navy, and Ann, as well as three nephews and two nieces. She had six grandchildren and many friends who will miss her sharp wit, her fondness for a "wee dram" of Scotch, and her beloved Maude, the Scottish Terrier. Her daughter, Susan, preceded her in death in 1973. A memorial service will be held in Grace Episcopal Church in Camden Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 3:00 PM. Burial will occur in a graveside service in Gainesville, Florida where she will be laid to rest with her family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ann’s memory may be made to Walter M. Crowe Animal Shelter, Camden, South Carolina.
Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel is assisting the family.
On-line condolences may be sent to the Barker family at www.kornegayfuneral.com.