James E. Barton
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GRANVILLE: A funeral service for James E. Barton, 79, Granville, OH / Naples, FL, will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at Swasey Chapel, Denison University with a Celebration of Life following at 5 p.m. at Moundbuilders Country Club. Separate calling hours will be at Moundbuilders Country Club, 125 N. 33rd St., Newark on Thursday, June 27, 2013 from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m.
Jim was born June 12, 1934 in Finleyville, Pennsylvania, the youngest of ten children of Charles T. Barton and Clara Diehl Barton. He was raised in Mason, West Virginia; graduated from Wahama High School in 1952 (Wahama Sports Hall of Fame), and received his Bachelor of Arts degree (1956) and his Masters Degree from Marshall University, where he attended on both basketball and football scholarships.
After college he went on to serve two years in the United States Navy, serving stateside on the Bainbridge and Little Creek Naval Bases, where he continued to play organized football and basketball. After his service in the Navy, Jim was offered a contract to play professional football with the Baltimore Colts, and as he describes, he was the last player cut by Coach Weeb Eubank, who became a good friend over the years. He was eventually signed to play by Lamar Hunt, owner of the Dallas Texans in the American Football League. He was later traded to the Denver Broncos, and finished his playing career in Denver in 1963. He spent two additional years as a scout for the San Diego Chargers under Head Coach Sid Gilman.
Before his playing career ended, Jim had entered the insurance business on a part time basis to make sure he had a career after football, and it was this decision that would bring him to Central Ohio. He started in the group health insurance business as an employee of the General American Life Insurance Company, and through a series of mutual contacts ended up living in Worthington, Ohio and working with the Glenn M. Erskine Company in Pataskala. In 1973 he ventured out on his own, moved to Granville, Ohio and started Advanced Employee Benefits, Inc., which eventually became Jim Barton & Associates, Inc. in 1979. Jim's successes in the life insurance business are many, but his grandest accomplishments came in seeing the people he employed and mentored achieve levels of success they never thought possible.
One of Jim's proudest gestures was spearheading the Tribute to Licking County World War II Veterans in 2006, and later a separate celebration "Honoring All Licking County Veterans" in 2011. Both events were amazing examples of the lengths he would go to ensure our veterans would always know how much they are appreciated, and that Freedom is Never Free.
Jim was a member of the Licking County Life Underwriters; the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors; a 45-year member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT); Association of Advanced Life Underwriters (AALU), Twenty-Five Million Dollar Forum (now the International Forum); President and Chairman of the GenAmerica Financial Advisory Council; 20-year seat on the Board of Directors of Medical Benefits Mutual (MedBen) and a member of the GenAmerica Financial (MetLife) Hall of Fame - the highest honor the company bestows on its agents for his consistent success and contributions to the life insurance industry. Jim was a member of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and the President of the NFLPA - Columbus Chapter. He served on the inaugural board of Licking County Hospice, and was a member of Moundbuilders Country Club; Granville Rotary; Newark Elks Club; the Denison Big Red Touchdown Club; the Marshall University "Big Green" Club; the Ohio State University President's Club and he was an Ohio Commodore, an honor bestowed by Governor James Rhodes. His most esteemed membership may have been his association with his Naples, FL "PIP Club" (Previously Important People) - a group of retired business owners who gather daily to praise free enterprise, the American way of life and commiserate about liberals, and those "who had never met a payroll". He loved everybody, but nobody was safe from his sense of humor and practical jokes.
Jim found tremendous strength throughout his life in his relationship with God. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Granville, First Presbyterian Church of Naples, and past member of Central College Presbyterian Church in Westerville, where he and his wife, Kay, became close friends with the Reverend Richard Ellsworth, who, along with family, was by his side in the last days of his life.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Kay (Eaton) Barton; children Brooke (Jerome) Datz, Beth (Richard) Eckels, Ben (Jennifer Young) Barton; bonus children Emily (James) Sandul and Max (Nikki) Eaton; grandchildren James V. Datz, Hannah R. Datz, Bailey E. Blanchard, Benton L. Blanchard, Alex Eckels, Charles T. Barton, Lilly J. Barton, Jackson Sandul, Joey Sandul and Madeline K. Eaton; former wife, Sue B. Barton. Also surviving: sister, Annabelle Butler, brother Robert Barton. He was preceded in death by brothers Russell and Charles; and sisters Clara Oates Manley, Mildred Garvin, Chloe Hill, Edna Poskon and Margaret Swift and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Licking County Salvation Army - Honoring Licking County Veterans, Hospice of Central Ohio and the Granville Athletic Boosters.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mcpeekhoekstra.com.
Published in the Advocate from June 26 to June 28, 2013