School 09

Robert C. Barkman

October 16, 1942 ~ July 27, 2022 (age 79)


Robert Cloyce Barkman passed away peacefully at home on July 27, 2022, surrounded by the love of family and friends.  Bob was born in Massillon, OH on October 16, 1942. He married his wife, Dawn, in 1965 and after finishing his doctorate, they settled in Longmeadow, MA to build a life together and begin his teaching career at Springfield College.

Known to his students as “Dr. Bob”, he taught for 42 years at Springfield College. Starting out first as a professor of biology, he helped start the college’s sports medicine program. He later moved to the Education Department to share his love for teaching and help future teachers teach science. He started a summer camp, Real World Science to share his fascination of the natural world and wrote two books on teaching science. Additionally, he recently published a book “See The World Through Patterns”. He spent a sabbatical at Technical Education Research Center in Cambridge, MA and did research at the University of Michigan Biological Station and the National Marine Laboratory in Narragansett, RI. He was awarded the Sears Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award. 

Bob was an active member of First Church of Christ of Longmeadow, where he enjoyed a great sense of community.  He was fortunate to have amazing lifelong friends with whom he shared many hiking trips, biking, golf and tennis matches to keep him active and happy.  

In retirement he became an active volunteer with Roca, an organization that helps individuals who have been incarcerated reenter society.  He was a lifelong learner and loved to share his passion for fishing, sports, fitness, minute mysteries and learning with his grandchildren and other unsuspecting “students”.

Bob forged a valiant fight against lung cancer for more than seven years, aided by doctors and staff at Dana Farber and amazing support of family and friends. 

He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Dawn Barkman, his daughters Cara McCoy (Chris) and Taryn Nelson (Jeff) and five grandchildren Cade, Brock and Bryson McCoy and Tate and Lola Nelson.  

Anyone wishing to make donations can be made to Roca of Springfield 29 School Street, Springfield, MA 01105 or to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284.

Memorial services will be announced at a later date. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit


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