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Henry Barton

Former Fallbrook resident Henry Barton died Dec. 22, 2019, in Los Altos, after complications from a fall. He left this world peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was 93.

Henry was born in Bennington, Vermont, March 22, 1926, to Kenneth and Marion Barton. He grew up in Vermont and Massachusetts, and attended high school in Beverly, Massachusetts. In 1944, at the age of 18, he joined the Navy, serving his country in World War II on a destroyer protecting the North Sea convoys.

After the war ended, he went on to college at New Mexico A&M University on the GI bill. He was the first of his family to pursue higher education. He followed his love for natural science and earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry, followed later with a master's degree in psychology and a graduate credential in teaching.

During his university years, he served his country again in the Army ROTC, rising to the rank of major. He trained junior officers and served in Army intelligence.

At New Mexico A&M University, Henry met his first wife Hallie Wood, a fellow classmate from Carlsbad, New Mexico. Hallie was a pioneer in her own right, one of a few young female students in the chemical engineering department. They shared a passion for chemistry, bridge and travel and married right after graduation in 1952.

Henry worked for Douglas Aircraft as an engineer, then as a teacher back in New Mexico, while Hallie was a civilian employee at White Sands, New Mexico. Their first daughter, LeaAnne, was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 1956.

In 1959, they left New Mexico for Fallbrook, where Henry continued teaching. He taught special education students at Maie Ellis Elementary School, before moving to Vallecitos School in Rainbow to serve as superintendent, principal and junior high teacher.

Henry loved teaching and was never happier than being surrounded by his students and passing on his love of science. Henry and Hallie's other two daughters, Lori and Lani, were born in Fallbrook, and the family lived here for many years.

Hallie died in 1984. In 1989, he found happiness again with his second wife, Dorothy "Dottie" Miller, a former childhood sweetheart from Danvers, Massachusetts. He moved back east to marry Dottie, and they spent 30 years living out their golden retirement. Their life was busy and happy with their blended families and travel through the U.S., especially New England.

Henry will be sorely missed by his family and friends. He was a wonderful father and husband, humanitarian and patriot. His mind was sharp until the end, with a razor-sharp wit and stories of his life's adventures that were legendary.

Continuing his love of science with various projects, he was also a master bridge player and skilled as a handyman, being known as the man who could fix anything.

Never forgetting growing up poor in the Depression, he was generous and giving to those less fortunate. He was actively involved in the Bonsall Lions club and other local civic groups.

Every Christmas he took responsibility for purchasing toys for needy Rainbow children, from a fund given by local residents. In Massachusetts, he and Dottie continued the tradition of giving and volunteering to charities, local organizations and their families.

Along with his first wife Hallie, Henry was predeceased by his brother Kenneth Barton. He is survived by his second wife, Dottie; his sister, Jean Blanchard; daughters LeaAnne Barton, Lori (Randy) Hewitt and Lani (Richard) Cliff; stepchildren, Nancy Paskowski and David Miller; five grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Henry's life will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 7, at the Fallbrook Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1924, located at 1175 Old Stage Road, in Fallbrook. All friends and former students are invited to attend. Email [email protected] for more information.

In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the American Cancer Society or the Fallbrook VFW.


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