Melvin Barton, 92, of Boise, and a former longtime Baker City resident, died March 31, 2004.
His graveside funeral will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. MST at Morris Hill Cemetery under the direction of Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel of Boise.
Mel was born Feb. 27, 1912, at Surprise, Okla., the third of 12 children. He spent his youth in Filer, Idaho, graduating from Filer High School in 1930. He attended Albion Normal College in 1930 and the University of Southern California in 1931, impressing coaches with his football skills at both schools. Mel proudly served our country in World War II for nearly five full years, making a captain’s rank and serving in the South Pacific and the European campaigns.
On Dec. 31, 1942, while on leave from active duty, Mel married Clea Parke of Carey, Idaho. Their relationship has endured 61-plus years, and more than a few people have been astounded by their rich and enduring love for each other. Mel and Clea worked with Mel’s father on his sheep ranch in Filer for three years after the war. In 1948 he moved his family to Baker City, where he and Clea lived for more than 50 years, becoming an integral part of that community and raising four boys in the process. He and Clea moved to Boise in 2001.
Mel was a prince of a man. He was loving and giving, and he always strived to “do right by people.” He was the hardest worker on any task. He was a teacher and an example of the principles in which he believed. He was fun and loving to all, and all loved him. His meekness was often astounding, his love for children remarkable. He loved God and His word, and his son Jesus Christ.
Mel is survived by his wonderful wife, Clea; four sons and their wives: Rich and Diane, Duane and Jan, all of Portland, and Gary and Kathy and Ron and Jane, all of Boise; 12 wonderful, adoring grandchildren; as well as two of 11 siblings.
As we the survivors turn our hearts and eyes heavenward to the light, we are comforted knowing we shall see this husband, this father, this grandfather, this wonderful man, once again. We are grateful to God for Mel’s legacy of love, for we have all profited, we are all better off, we who knew him.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, April 2, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor