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Mary Ruth (Odell) BARTON

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Mary Ruth Odell Barton, mother and mentor, passed away on March 30, 2013 at age 96. Mary Ruth was born in Peoria, Illinois, the daughter of Jay and Ruth Odell. She was raised in St. Paul, MN and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1939, a proud member of the Mortar Board. Mary Ruth married Roger Wesley Barton, a classmate, in 1941. After Pearl Harbor, Roger joined the Navy as an electronics officer and the newlyweds were based together in Trinidad where their first two daughters were born. After the war, the Bartons settled in Aurora, Illinois where Roger began a career in international business with the Stephens-Adamson Mfg Co. While raising 6 children, Mary Ruth would also join Roger on travel in Europe and South America, fueling her interest in history and politics. She was an active member of the League of Women Voters. The Bartons moved to Ithaca, NY in 1971 where Mary Ruth engaged with many students at the Campus Crusade for Christ of Cornell University. Roger passed away in 1985, and Mary Ruth retired to La Jolla, CA in 1997. Mary Ruth was an outdoorsman, and from the family home in Lutsen, MN she inspired 4 generations with her love of gardening, canoeing and hiking. She is remembered for her elegance, talent and faith. Mary Ruth is survived by her six children: Kittie Frantz, Pasadena, CA; Ann Barton, Evanston, Illinois; Mary Nees, Johnson City, Tennessee; Laura Williams, Tustin, CA; Roger Barton, Afton, MN; John Barton, Ithaca, NY; as well as thirteen grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. An interment service will be held at the Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN at 10 am on April 26th.



Published in Pioneer Press on Apr. 21, 2013
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