In Loving Memory of
Carl Max Barton
Carl Max Barton
I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
A tradition of honor,
And a legacy of valor.
--The Airmanâ€™s Creed
Carl Max Barton died Thursday, December 17, 2015, leaving a personal legacy of dedicated service to his family, faith and countryâ€"in both the Army and the Air Force. He was 86.
Born August 24, 1929 in Alton, Missouri, Carl was the youngest of five children born to Elmer Barton, a farm manager, and Anna Jahrling Barton, a homemaker and gardener. His brothers and sisters included: Marvin Barton, William "Bill" Barton, Mary Verda (Barton) Herbold and Ruby (Barton) McHalffey. Raised in Alton in humble circumstances, Carlâ€™s mother pulled him around in a little red wagon as she worked on the farm each day. Carl himself was used to working hard at a young age, waking early to help with farm chores and walk a mile to school; at age ten, he was sneaking off to smoke cigarettes in fields nearby. As he developed a love for music, Carl would walk a mile and a half to play guitar along with his cousin, who lived down the road. After his father died, Carlâ€™s family lost their home (which had been provided with his dadâ€™s job as farm manager). Determined to provide his family with security, Carl found his mother a one-bedroom house, then worked in harvesting another farmerâ€™s crops so that the farmer would add another bedroom onto the house. Later, he found a job washing windshields and checking oil at a "full service" gas station before graduating from Alton High School in 1948, as a member of the Pep Squad, FFA and Glee Club, whose talents were as varied as his interests.
Upon graduation from high school, Carl was drafted into the Army to serve during the Korean War (1951-1952), where he received three Bronze Campaign Stars. He was discharged in 1952 and traveled to St. Louis to become a salesman. Soon thereafter, he met lovely Shannon Sutton (whose sister was dating Carlâ€™s cousin); the couple married in a church ceremony on September 4, 1953, in St. Louis. Despite being happily married, Carl found that he missed military service and so in 1954, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in Thailand during the Vietnam War, retiring in 1974. In the interim, Carl and Shannon welcomed three children: René Lynn Barton Reeder (and husband Ken), Carla Ann Barton Robinson (and husband Mark) and Douglas Allen Barton (and wife Donna). Carlâ€™s career with the Air Forceâ€"in radio repair, then communications and cryptography, with high security clearanceâ€"meant many moves for his family, including a 5-year stint in Washington State, three years in England, then time in Mississippi, Massachusetts and Arkansas before heading back home to Missouri. Then Carl worked at the University of Missouri as an Electronics Technician for the nuclear reactor there, teaching students and receiving his Senior Operator license. But no matter where their next destination was, the familyâ€™s first order of business in a new town was to find their new church and make new friends. They always went to church together, and Carl always said the blessing at their table.
In addition, Carl also enjoyed spending time relaxing with his family and friends. He loved road trips with his family and visited 49 states, including a cruise to Alaskaâ€"although he couldnâ€™t drive to Hawaiiâ€"taking photographs along the way. He loved woodworking, genealogy, writing, playing 42, and playing guitar. He was generous and kind, a gentle and quiet man, and when he chose to speak, everyone listened. Carl also cherished his wife and brought her snacks every evening at 9:30, nurturing her through several back surgeries. Always a gentleman, he insisted on pulling out ladyâ€™s chairs and opening the door for them even later, when he walked with a cane. He had learned wisdom through his relationships, stating that, "You can be happy or you can be right, but you canâ€™t be both."
Eventually, Carl and Shannon settled in College Station to be near their daughter, Carla. Here, Carl cherished his association with Parkway Baptist Church and throughout his life, he worked as an usher, training union organizer, and also assisted with the Senior Group for maintaining church projects. Truly, he loved God and his family, including his grandchildren: Shannon Marie Barnes Sanford (and husband Greg), Dawn Barnes, Richard Max Barnes, Emily Dayle Robinson Fisher (and husband Patrick), Barton John Robinson, Scott James Robinson and Nicole Dorolene Barton. Carl was also blessed to be a great-grandfather to Levi Barnes, Mark "Patrick" Fisher and Brody Lowry Fisher. In the larger community, Carl connected with Korean War veterans and campaigned for the Air Force Memorial in Washington, DC. He loved meeting with others in his writing group as they shared memories and wrote memoirs together. Certainly, these loved ones will treasure their relationships with Carl for years to come.
Family and friends will gather to honor Carlâ€™s life and his service to our country from 4:30 â€" 6:30 PM on Monday, December 21, 2015 at Hillier Funeral Home in College Station. The Life Celebration of Carl Barton is scheduled for 11 AM on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at Parkway Baptist Church in College Station with Pastor Chris Snidow officiating. Carl will be laid to rest following Full Final Air Force Honors at a private family ceremony at the College Station Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Parkway Baptist Church Building Fund, 1501 Southwest Pkwy, College Station, TX, 77842.
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