James Michael Barko

Published 2:10 pm Monday, May 16, 2022

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Mr. James Michael Barko, 82, of Yadkin Valley Road, Advance, died Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

He was born on Aug. 25, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late John Barko Sr. and Anna Mausser Barko.

Jim was known as Jimmy, Bro, Dad, Pops, Paw Paws and a Real American. He spent 25 years as a Special Agent and Unit Chief for the FBI where he focused on investigating and fighting computer fraud and white-collar crime. During that time, he never missed playing daily lunchtime basketball games with his fellow agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. He was a huge Cleveland Browns fan and was always optimistic that they would win it all next year or secure a first-round draft pick. He was a chess master, a lover of the German language and all classical music. He loved history, fresh air, hard work, discipline and investing in the stock market. His life was most enjoyed in the little things. He loved his wife of 55 years faithfully. He was a man of his word and embodied a strong faith that carried him through life’s ups and downs. He enjoyed exercising even up to the week of his eternal homecoming. A cup of coffee made him smile and relax. His most precious treasure was his deep faith in God. He poured into his family every chance he got with phone calls, emails, family trips and meals out. He championed charities that stood for Biblical principles.

His love for his grandchildren was evident to all. He taught them history and the penny-nickel game and was always ready to trap someone like a rat. Often referring to them as My Pals, he sometimes made himself dizzy giving them the biggest Schlawbowlies. He reminded them often to be careful and to spit on your feet and get tough when life got hard, but when it comes to family, there’s always time to Fotz around together. He taught all of his family the importance of knowing God and honoring Him with your life, and as such, his family followed in his footsteps. We miss him dearly, but trust in the Scriptures that remind us “to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phil 1:21) and that while we grieve, we do so with hope (1 Thess 4:13). We know that his soul is in the presence of God as he is finally at home in the great Cleveland in the sky.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Matthew Barko.

Survivors include: his wife of 55 years, Linda Ann Larson Barko; 4 children – Christopher Darwin Barko (Cindy) of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Michael James Barko of Bridgewater, Va.; Elizabeth Irene Jourdan (Tom) of Liberty and Katherine Ann Stem (J) of Advance; 11 grandchildren – Matthew Barko, Sarah Barko, Clarke Stem, Larson Stem, Katie Beth Jourdan, Blake Stem, Walker Jourdan, Jeb Stem, Cooper Jourdan, Seth Jourdan and Nathan Jourdan; 2 brothers – John Barko Jr. and Tom Barko (Maryann) all of Cleveland, Ohio; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 26 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4820 Kinnamon Road, Clemmons. Inurnment will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at McDonalds Chapel Presbyterian Church, 1374 Foxfire Road, Aberdeen.

Jim was a strong supporter of the Thomas More Society. So in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor at https://thomasmoresociety.org <https://thomasmoresociety.org/> .

Online condolences: www.eatonfuneralservice.com.