In memory of
Joseph Edward Barton, Sr
March 20, 1927 - August 13, 2007

    My father passed away in the early morning hours of Monday August 13, 2007 after a lengthy battle with kidney cancer. He was 80 years old. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Jane, his children; Joseph Edward Barton, Jr., Linda Maria Bowser, Ruth Jane Burkes, Michael Vincent Barton, Sr., Patricia Ann Dekowsky, and John Phillip Barton. His son Richard Alan Barton passed away in 1998. He is also survived by a small army of grandchildren, and a bunch of great grandchildren – without a doubt, he certainly left his mark on this Earth!

    He is a Navy veteran, and served in Japan at the end of World War II. In his duties as a firefighter in the occupation forces, he no doubt contributed to the preservation of countless lives and homes. After he fulfilled his duties to his nation, he returned to marry his teenage sweetheart, and remained true and devoted to her for the next 60 years. 

    My father was an entirely selfless man who always put his family needs and desires before his own.

    He was a hard worker that spent 43 years working in the mills at Bethlehem Steel to provide for his family. He usually worked the “Swing-shift,” which meant that one week he worked 7am-3pm, the following week 3pm-11pm, and 11pm-7am the third week. Sometimes I never knew if he was just waking up, or just coming home. Thankfully, he was fortunate enough to retire 19 years ago and had the opportunity to leisurely enjoy his life for several years.

    My Dad was a modest man of God that served as a deacon at Watersedge Baptist church; a place filled with caring people, whom were often regarded as extended members of our own family – and likewise. He did his utmost to raise his children under the guidance of the holy gospel.

    He was a creative man that dabbled in arts & crafts for a while - macramé to be precise. He went well beyond making simple pot hangers, and created the most beautiful and intricate wall decorations, hanging tables, and lamps.

    He liked to build things. He designed and constructed all of the wooden cabinets in the kitchen of our old house. He designed and built the shed that sits on a concrete foundation in the backyard. He built the full-length porch on the back of the house, and turned it into an actual addition. He always built things to last - strong and sturdy, like himself. 

    He used to take us camping during summer vacation, and loved spending time outdoors. Sometimes we used a tent, and at other times we had a trailer. Mostly I remember the pine needles that seemed to get into everything, and the clean air mixed with the wonderful smell of dinner cooking on the charcoal fire. 

    My father was the only person that I have ever met that could find the square root of any number using only a pencil and paper. He made it look easy, and on occasion would try to teach me his skill, to no avail. This particular knowledge remains unique to him in this now seemingly lost art.

    Through his unwavering resolve, my Dad quietly encouraged me to inherit his finest qualities. His silent integrity, faithfulness, unbending honesty, firmly grounded practicality, unquestioning love, and wry sense of humor are among his many gifts that he gave to me. As I continue to learn and mature, I feel these things continuing to grow and strengthen from the seeds that were planted by him. My strongest desire is that I not squander these gifts.

    He was, and will forever continue to be my rock, my foundation, my inspiration, and my infinitely strong and humbly quiet guide. My Dad.

    The last time that I got to see him, he asked me to write a song for him. With that request, I came to realize that I already had fulfilled his desire. This song is based upon some of the most important and basic values that he instilled in me. This song is for my father. Yeah, Dad, I was listening to your silent example.

JPB - Ground (mp3)


50th wedding anniversary - they renewed their vows in the church that we were raised in.

That would be me...

Ruth's high school graduation.

Babysitting my cat Scratchy.

Working on the rear addition to the house.

50th wedding anniversary.

50th wedding anniversary.

50th wedding anniversary.

50th wedding anniversary.

Goofing around in the backyard.

One of the few times that they were brave enough to come hear my old band "Kurfu." You can see one of our flyers on the wall...

He always liked digging in the garden.