Richard Lee Barton, beloved husband, father and grandfather, age 92, departed this life peacefully on Monday, March 25, 2019 at the Republic County Hospital, Belleville, Kansas. Richard, son of B.R. and Martha (Folkers) Barton, was the oldest of four children. He was born August 28, 1926 in Diller, Nebraska. He attended grade school and high school in Diller and graduated in 1945. From there he was drafted in the US Army during WWII and served one year with the 3079 Quartermaster Supply and Sales Co. in Japan.
Richard was united in marriage to LaRhue Gregory on June 27, 1947. They were blessed with four children. Richard was a farmer until he started his career with the Burlington Northern Railroad in Reynolds, Nebraska. Until his retirement in management as a Road Master, he spent his entire railroad career in the BN track department. He seemed to enjoy his work on the BN as he had so many railroad stories to share with anyone willing to listen.
In 1988 Richard suffered the loss of his beloved LaRhue.
Richard was baptized and became a member of the Mahaska Presbyterian Church. He was also a 61-year member in good standing of the American Legion Post 255. He was a 50 plus year member of the Masonic Lodge and lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A.
After healing his heart, Richard sought companionship and found Marlene (Chopp) Taylor. Together they joined hearts and lives on March 24, 1989.
Richard (Dick, Black Bart, Rich, Richie, Ricardo, Pooner, Pop, Gramps, Grandpa, Dad) enjoyed life…especially the outdoors…most especially when horses were involved. Talk about a true cowboy…much more than boots and a cowboy hat. He worked hard rounding up cattle in the sand hills, team penning, hosting trail rides, champion team driving contests, breeding and training horses. Anything to do with horses. Legend has it he sat in a saddle before ever taking his first step. Favorite horses that he had were Duke, Skeeter, Friskie, and Chad’s pony, Alpo, which Chad claims Rich would always have to ride before he could get on.
Richard loved having company stop over to visit so he could tell them stories including rounding up wild horses in Wyoming. If he didn’t have company you could find him watching old John Wayne movies or listening to Reba McEntire.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; wife LaRhue; son James Lee Barton; grandson Scotty Meritt; son-in-law George Pfeifer. He will be forever remembered by his wife of thirty years, Marlene of their home; daughters Carol Pfeifer, Spencer, NE, Karen (Greg) Pester, Hallam, NE and Sue (Bill) Zimbelman, Lincoln, NE, Pam (Kirk) Gallion, Mahaska, KS, Kathy Taylor (Tony Nemec), Overland Park, KS, Diane (Lyle) Thompson, Washington, KS;13 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; seven great, great grandchildren; siblings Kathleen (Melvin) Hellbusch, Gilead, NE, Bill (Pat) Barton and Bob (Donna) Barton, Alexandria, NE; many nieces, nephews and numerous other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Mahaska Presbyterian Church with Pastor Phil Goombi officiating. Masonic services were conducted by Belleville Masonic Lodge No. 129. Burial was in Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln, Nebraska with Military Rites by the United States Army Honor Guard.