Charles Barton

Family-Placed Death Notice

BARTON, Charles CHARLES COGGINS BARTON Charles Coggins Barton, a man well known in commercial real estate as a legendary and skillful 'deal maker' passed away November 10, 2010. Born May 26, 1926 in Morningside, Atlanta, Charley graduated from Boys High and Babson College of Massachusetts where he met his wife, Eleanor Grace Amsie Barton of Boston. Before entering college, Charley enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and flew on board reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic Ocean in search of German submarines and then later he served his country again during the Korean conflict. He married, in 1949, his 19 year old bride of 61 years. Afterward the newlyweds moved to Atlanta from Boston to begin his business career at Burroughs Corp. serving as a sales manager that included working as well on the initial computer installations at the George C. Marshell Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. During this time, Charley began investing in real estate in partnership with his father-in-law, Bill Amsie. From the start, Charley's innate trademark characteristics of abundant optimism and an inexorable determination to 'seal the deal' began to emerge. In 1966, he resigned from Burroughs Corp. to devote himself full time to real estate investing. As a matter of fate, Charley met another successful real estate entrepreneur in 1967, George H. Johnson, and the two would soon become business partners and lifelong best friends. Thus began a remarkable journey and a very prosperous career involving many successful real estate transactions. Regarded by their peers as a formidable duo and a insurmountable force, they were highly regarded and admired for their mastery in acquiring, developing, and for possessing a knack in knowing the optimal time to sell investments. A visionary with a keen sense for selecting geographic areas of growth, Charley tirelessly pursued tracts of undeveloped land or properties ripe for redevelopment, and then would contact the owner to negotiate an option contract thereby allowing time to perform due diligence and seek investors to ccomplete the purchase. With real estate investments spanning many states, it was not unusual for Charley to travel to England, Europe, Sweden, and the Middle East to obtain financing for various projects. Local recognizable projects included the Powers Ferry Landing and the Cobb Galleria developments bordering I-285. Notable hotel projects were the Atlanta airport Ramada Renaissance Hotel, the Cobb Galleria Embassy Suites, the Buckhead Embassy Suites, the Marriott Suites Hotel on 14th Street, and the Buckhead Crown Plaza. Other numerous projects involved developing sites that often would become a McDonalds, Waffle House, Holiday Inn, a bank, gas station or similar vibrant businesses. Of interest, the first Atlanta area McDonalds was the result of Charley's work. He was a long time member beginning from the 1960's of several clubs; the Cherokee Town and Country, Capital City, and the Everglades in Palm Beach. At age 10, growing up in the Depression with his sister, Mae, and mother, Charley's father died suddenly creating a difficult and challenging life to endure. However, Charley sought to focus on the hardships suffered by others, which led him to be immensely generous in giving his time and money to many charitable and civic organizations including helping out numerous individuals throughout his lifetime. Often being anonymous, and always cheerful in giving of his money, he said, as once quoted, "It's not the 'I' in giving, but the Great Creator coming through you. It's an experience you can't define anymore than you can define God." If you could find any hobby at all that Charley truly enjoyed, it was simply seeking to be helpful of his fellow brethren. He loved surrounding himself with diverse people and engaging in lengthy discussions about religion and spirituality. Throughout his busy career Charley's commitment to his community spanned decades; he was president of the Atlanta Union Mission; he helped catapult the Exodus Inc. program for disadvantage youths into a national education program now known as Communities in Schools; he funded the construction of many homes for Habitat for Humanity; he was a charter member of the High Museum Directors Circle; he was a member of Emory University Board of Visitors; he was on the Advisory Board of The School of Americus in Mexico; he funded Babson College student scholarships programs and was awarded an honorary doctor Degree in Commercial Sciences. In short the list is long of the many worthy organizations Charley generously supported over his life time. To have a friend in Charley was indeed to be blessed. Charley's zeal for life is an inspiration and his love he freely gave to all will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Eleanor, daughters Linda and Wendy, a granddaughter, Caroline, and son-in-law, Marion Benson. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Communities In Schools of Georgia at 600 West Peachtree Street, Ste 1200, Atlanta GA 30308 or The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta at 50 Hurt Plaza, Ste 449, Atlanta, GA 30303. A memorial service will be Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 2 o'clock at Patterson's Arlington Chapel with the family receiving friends 30 minutes prior to the service. Interment will be at Arlington Memorial Park following a brief reception. Arrangements by H.M. Patterson and Son, Arlington Chapel, 173 Allen Rd., NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328.

Funeral Home

H.M. Patterson & Son-Arlington Chapel
173 Allen Road Ne Sandy Springs, GA 30328
(404) 851-9900

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Nov. 12 to Nov. 13, 2010