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Eugene Barton

2022-09-17

Eugene (Gene) Lasley Barton, 85, passed away early Saturday, September 17th after a long illness. His wife and dance partner for over 60 years, Diane was by his side. Gene was born on September 8th, 1937 to Charles and Bertha (Bowman) Barton in Algona, Iowa. He was the third of four children and the family moved to California during WWII. Gene grew up there, then entered the military at age 17. He served in the US Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate on the USS Samuel B. Roberts, was honorably discharged with a good conduct medal in 1958 and returned to Stockton, California. He worked for the Stockton Fire Department, U.S. Post Office, San Joaquin Sheriff’s Department, and Southern Pacific Railroad. He also received an associate degree from San Joaquin Delta College and attended Humphrey’s College for computer programming. While at Delta College, he met Diane and became her dance partner for life, marrying in 1961. They lived in Stockton and raised their family until 1972, when they relocated to Dublin, California, where Gene worked in Data Processing as a programmer.

While in Dublin, Gene and Diane danced in a semi-professional ethnic dance group, focusing on German dance, The Von Konsky Dancers. He was a highly ranked chess player with the US Chess Federation, an avid reader, especially enjoying mysteries, a daily racquetball player and loved jazz music. In 2002, Gene retired, and he and Diane relocated to Fernandina Beach, Florida where they continued to dance socially and joined the First Coast Shag Club. In Florida, they enjoyed their grandchildren and became one of the early patrons of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. Gene was known to be highly competitive in all endeavors, always having a positive outlook and an endearing sense of humor. He also spent many hours with his persnickety cat Sheba, observed by their other cat, Tiger.

His survived by his wife Diane (Coolidge) Barton; his daughters Shannon Barton Brown and Shivon Lee (LeRoy) Kadrmas; his grandchildren Jeremy Eugene (Niasha) Roberts, Christina Diane Colby, Larissa Lee (Daemon) Barnes, Amanda Marie Kadrmas, Brielle Elizabeth Kadrmas and John Cameron Brown; his adorable great grandchildren Miley Kathleen Barnes and Calvin Eugene Roberts; his sister, Frances Griswell of Pleasanton, California and their cats Sheba and Tiger. He is predeceased by his brothers Jim and Richard Barton and his granddaughter, Kyla Kathleen Roberts. He will be cremated and interred at the historic Union Cemetery in Manteca, California.

Rather than flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Fund and Cat’s Angel’s, Inc. in Fernandina Beach, FL.

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