(Picture at left from October 1974) Obituary: Charles Erwin Barton, 88, of Sterling, died July 23, 1994 at his home.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, July 26 at the Chaney-Walters Funeral Home. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 27 at Faith United Methodist Church with burial at Riverside Cemetery. The Rev. Dave Moorman will officiate.
Mr. Barton was born Feb. 28, 1906 in Crystal Spring, Penn., to Phillip P. and Lydia Koenig Barton. From there he moved to the LeRoy Community.
He attended the Harding School before marrying Florence L. Ruth on June 29, 1929 in Greeley. He farmed in the Kelley community, retiring in 1964. His wife died in 1974 and on Oct. 10, 1976, he married Lois Rife Sonnenberg in Sterling.
He was a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Logan Lodge 69; Sterling Encampment 37; Olive Branch Rebekah Lodge 27; Canton Victory 7; the past Grand Master of the State of Colorado Oddfellows and a retired Colonel in Patriarchs Militant of the Department of Colo. Canton. He was of the Methodist faith.
Mr Barton is survived by his wife; four sons, Maruice and wife Verna, Jerry and wife Norma and Ronald, all of Sterling and Mardell of Berthoud; daughter Marilynn Knothe and husband Gary of Grand Junction; and six step-children, Gene Sonnenberg of Boulder, Byron Sonnenberg, Nina Young and Elaine Tribelhorn, all of Sterling, Wynona Holloday of Englewood and Iola Armour of Estes Park; sister-in-law Margaret Barton of Byron, Calif; 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and step grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by brother Rutherford and sister Bertha Busig.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.
Note: In a document entitled Railroad, it states, Fall 1934, Bertha & John Busig moved to Oregon, Charles & Florence (and Mardell and Maurice) also went to Oregon, but returned to Sterling the next spring.
Charles E. Barton, in 1963, was the Grand Master of the Colorato Grand Lodge of the IOOF.
Charles Barton's project in 1963 as Colorado Grand Master was the building of the Memorial Chapel at the Odd Fellows Home of Colorado. It was completed in 1964.
First four sitting from left to right:
Florence Barton (Charles' wife), Charles Erwin Barton, Lydia Ann Koenig Barton Anderson (Charles' mother) and Bertha Mae Barton Busig (Charles' sister)
In this picture Charles is surrounded by his children and relatives just after he was installed as the Grand Master of the Colorado Grand Lodge of the IOOF in 1963.
Charles Barton Eulogy (complete):
From the stories I gathered, Charles Barton was the most even-tempered fellow you'd ever be likely to meet. Nothing seemed to faze him. Somewhere, way done deep, he had a peacefulness that let the hazards and heartbreaks of life just ease on by.
Charles came to the Kelly area with his parents when he was only one or two years old. They had rented a boxcar in Pennsylvania, and brought everything they owned in it. When they arrived, the family lived in the boxcar on a siding while the root cellar was being dug. To say life was hard is an understatement by today's reckoning. Charles told of hitching up the wagon full of wheat early in the morning to make the long trip down to Hyde - and be back just in time for evening chores.
Hard work was to be expected - and Charles was constantly in the field. With 14 quarters to care for, farming took every waking hour. Often, the summer fallow had to wait - but he took it in stride. He also observed the Sabbath, that one day each week set aside for God and family and enjoyment. Sunday was time for a family picnic and fishing and relaxing.
Charles also enjoyed traveling with the family, and their journeys carried them to all the states of the Union, save three. His boys remember one trip into the mountains. They had been sleeping in the car parked by the side of the road, and had just woke up and got out when the car started rolling. Unoccupied, it rolled down the side of the mountain and into the creek bed. And Charles took it in stride.
In the fall, he enjoyed hunting - elk and deer in the mountains, antelope closer to home. These were special time with his sons. And he would do anything for them.
One time, the boys were driving back home after taking lunch out to Charles in the field, and they rolled the pickup on the country road. No one was hurt, though everything in the cab wound up someplace else. And Charles didn't get upset. Didn't complain. In fact, he took the rap for the boys, telling the insurance company that it was his fault.
Through it all, he never complained. Through droughts that just leave a person hopeless, and through a flood that floated rental houses off their foundations, tethered only by their power lines.
Charles was very active in the Odd Fellows, and always helped with the booth at the Fair. In the mid-60's, he was Colorado Grand Master and traveled the state attending to the office.
And in retirement, Charles and Florence wintered in south Texas - enjoying dances and card games and fishing. Fishing
was a passion. Usually, he was pretty cautious - but on one fishing trip to Lake McCanaughy - Charles, Jerry, and a friend from the lodge arrived just as a fierce storm was blowing in. Over the objections of the staff there - who were trying to get boats OFF the water, they put in anyway. And rocking in four foot swells, they started pulling big walleye out of the lake as quickly as they could throw in their lines. In an hour, they caught their limit - just in time to get off the water before the storm hit in earnest. The next two days were just as fruitful. And when they came home with their big catch, they discovered that the crops had been completely hailed out.
Charles took it in stride. It had been great fishing. And the hail would have come anyway. He was never ruffled.
Well, almost never. There WAS the time he backed the new pickup into the farm truck - and came forth with a word or two no one thought he knew. The instance was so rare, the family razzed him about it ever since.
But, in fact, he chose a life of forthright clean living - no use for drink or smoke, and always a civil tongue. After heart surgery, he recovered quickly because of what the doctor called "healthy mindedness."
His years with Lois were a delight for both of them. Charles was always willing to help - clear the table, wash the dishes, whatever needed doing. And he enjoyed working in the garden, working the soil, in the summer. He went out to Jerry's and drove the big, four-wheel-drive tractor, and couldn't believe a tractor would ever be so large. It was a real appreciation for how different farming had become since the all-day wagon trips to Hyde.
The say anyone can be sad or disappointed, but misery takes real work. Charles never wasted time working at being miserable. There was so much more of life to be lived. And as we remember Charles, God seems to be saying, "Calm down. Getting upset never solves the problem. Work hard at the task you love, and work hard for the people you love. Setbacks are just setbacks, unless you make them worse by brooding on them."
Life is to be lived in Joy - the joy of trusting God. And now, in Christ, Charles' trust is fulfilled.
Charles Erwin Barton family tree
Left, Left to right, Bertha Mae Barton and Charles Erwin Barton, circa 1907
Bertha Mae Barton, Lydia Koenig Barton, Phillip Barton
Rutherford William Barton (born June 16, 1910) and Charles Erwin Barton
Left, Charles Erwin Barton, Delores Mae "Lorry" Busig and Harold Wayne Busig
Left, Charles Erwin Barton and Bertha Mae Barton Busig
Starting from left to right: Rutherford William Barton, son, Charles Erwin Barton, son, Bertha Mae Barton Busig McConnell, daughter and Lydia Ann Koenig Barton Anderson, mom
Left, Charles Erwin Barton standing and Jack B. Lander against the car
Below, circa 1973, written on back of photo: "Next door neighbors and me"
Below, circa 1907, clockwise, Lydia Koenig Barton, Phillip Barton, Bertha Mae Barton and Charles Barton:
Below, circa 1920's, clockwise from left, Rutherford Barton, Bertha Mae Barton, Charles E. Barton, Phillip Barton and Lydia Barton:
Left and below, these six pictures are from Sept. 1992 when Charles was 86 and attending his brother Rutherford Barton's funeral
Below, circa 1931, Florence Barton, Mardell Barton, Charles E. Barton: