Mary Ruth Odell Barton(1916 – 2013)

As death must come for all, it came for Mary Ruth Odell Barton on March 30, 2013. Born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1916, she lived a full and gratifying life for 96 years. She lived in many countries and states with her final destination being La Jolla, CA, in a home that her parents bought in 1959. Until the last few years she divided her time between La Jolla and a home in Lutsen, MN.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of forty-four years, Roger Wesley Barton. Roger was a graduate of Harvard Law School and a Vice President of international business for Stephens-Adamson of Aurora, Illinois, and Borg-Warner of Ithaca, NY. It was through Roger's work that Mary Ruth was able to travel and see so much of the world. Political action had been a hobby since her time in college. In 1960 she helped coordinate Nixon's campaign in Kane County, Illinois. She was a history major who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1939. Mary Ruth spent much of her time engrossed in reading, writing and researching the genealogy of her family for over 60 years. Ever the student, she wrote three books encompassing the courtship of her parents, an unusual road in Minnesota where all the homes were founded by women, and a memoir of her own life. For years she could be found walking around Scripps Park in the early morning with Peggy Howell, co-founder of FOCAS, and several rescued dogs. She was an avid gardener and a collector of beautiful things. She leaves behind a legacy of elegance, talent and strong Christian faith.
Mary Ruth is survived by her six children, Kittie Barton Frantz of Pasadena, CA, Ann Wade Barton of Evanston, IL, Mary Barton Nees of Johnson City, TN, Laura Barton Williams of Tustin, CA, Roger Westwood Barton of Alton, MN, and John Jay Barton of Ithaca, NY; thirteen grandchildren; and twenty-two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on April 16, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church. Her ashes will be interred at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at a time still to be determined.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to FOCAS and Campus Crusade for Christ.
Published in La Jolla Light on Apr. 11, 2013