On behalf of the entire Barton family, to the entire staff at Summerhill, please know that we are so grateful for your service to Robert Barton, Sr. You got to know the man that we all admired. He was strong and tough, but quiet and humble. He was a gentleman but capable of great determination. His body was so strong, and that may ultimately have left him wondering how he could hold on so long despite so much physical challenge.
Your great care of him made all of us feel so much better. We knew he was in good hands, supported, helped and loved. Lisa, Matt and I saw this in your faces today, as you struggled to hold your tears, to remain professional and supportive. This made me feel so much better, knowing that you were hurting as well. That may sound a little odd, and I certainly took no pleasure in your distress. I was comforted knowing that he was among people who knew just how special Bob Barton was, and that you cared so much for him. I could name you, but I am so afraid that I would leave out an important name.
We have not decided about services yet. We will let you know what we ultimately decide to do and that decision will likely not be until some time next week.
One more thing, I do want to share just a little about my Dad, some things that you may not know about him. He was raised on a farm in Saratoga Springs, New York, and at a time when the depression was so overwhelming. He was full of mischief, famously nailing shut a closet door where his younger brother took refuge from a big brother who had been wronged. He wanted to become an engineer but there simply was not enough money for him to attend college. He married the love of his life, and three years later was called to war while she was pregnant with their son, my brother Bob. His son was born after he had already left for service to his country. He did not return home until after the war ended, and he just showed up at my Mom's door and literally swept her off her feet. She knew he was in the States, but did not know when he would be home, and he just showed up.
He never did make it to engineering school despite a very high IQ and great work ethic. He was a devoted husband and father and was a general manager of retail grocery stores. You will not be surprised to learn that the employees adored him.
In his later years, when my Mom was suffering a long battle with cancer, he was literally by her side the entire time. He was like a steady sentinel, standing guard over her right to the end. It was a remarkable display of devotion to the woman he loved for sixty years. He is the best man I have ever known.
There is so much more to say, although the words just won't come. I cannot say enough about how wonderful you all have been, making him feel special and helping us without missing a beat. Thank you so much.