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Fred M. Barton

May 16, 1959 - January 27, 2020

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 am. on Friday, January 31, 2020 at Champion Funeral Home with Pastor Tony Forman officiating.

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Fred Michael Barton, born May 16th, 1959 in Sheridan, WY, to proud parents Elmer and Jeannette, and older sister Lynne. He grew up on the family homestead, Barton “Ranch”, near Arvada, WY, where his love of farming began. With high school came a change with his family’s move to Sheridan where his passion for cars and going fast flourished. Fred enjoyed working on engines, racing his Corvette and his custom built brown and yellow truck.

The 16th summer of Fred’s life marked his transition into manhood through his time with a custom combining crew away from home. Life came quickly thereafter with the arrival of his 17 years at Carter mining company in Gillette WY, his time spent at Casper College, and soon his return to the farm, with his wife Dana.  Together on the ranch they raised their two children, Austin and Amy. He built a house and together they built a home where his family of four spent many cherished years together.

It was during this time on the farm that Freddy, as many locals would call him, proved to be a man of strength and wisdom with an eye for business. He ended his career with the coal mine saying goodbye to many life long friends to turn his focus on the farm. Before long it was just a piece in a much larger enterprise extending across counties and farms with a fleet of equipment and ownership of a lifelong dream — the elevator in Arvada.

Somehow with the ever present pursuit to do things to the best of his ability and provide for his family, Fred was still able to help others towards a better life. Sometimes it was the simple things such as teaching his nephews how to drive a stick shift on the flat. And in other times it was with open arms and support that he welcomed another person into the family regardless of their need. In any case the people he touched always knew he was there for them, at any time or place no matter what. He was their rock.

Although there was a lot of it, it was not all work for Fred. Where his passions ran, they ran strong and they were fun. He loved music: blasting it in his car, live music at concerts, looping Kiss’ Greatest Hits for years on end in the shop. Rock N’ Roll. Little Red Corvette must have been written for him because he had more than a few except his favorites tended to be in black. And flying…he followed in his father’s footsteps and took to the skies with intensity and joy that most people can’t find. The number of kids Fred inspired to be pilots we will never know because he took so many up for their first flights.

The sell of the farm brought a new chapter to Fred’s life. He faced many challenges in a different world but persevered through it all and captured a new handle on life. He rebuilt his empire, this time with real estate. He learned the understanding of man’s best friend with his​ beloved dog Radar. And, in this small and complex world, he found new and resounding love with Dawn. Someone he knew for a lifetime, but only got to share life experiences with for a short time.

Fred and Dawn were able to share two and a half years together, but hearing of their experiences you would have thought it was 20 due to their inseparability. Their adventurous travels took them across the country, and the world, with ever an eye on the less beaten way. They enjoyed cooking, concerts, probably too many movies and too much popcorn together. His wife Dawn brought immense joy and love to his life but also something new that Fred treasured: nine grandchildren they enjoyed spoiling together. He cherished their early morning donut runs, playing at the park, and the late night movies with no bedtime. He loved his new family.

Above all, in Fred’s eyes, his two greatest accomplishments were his children, Austin and Amy. He spent his “whole” striving to ensure they had a better life than he did, that they were taken care of and felt safe, always passing on his wisdom and skills so that they would be successful in life.

Fred loved giving to others. He loved Radar. He loved his friends. He loved his family. We love and miss him. He was truly “born free”…

Memorial Contributions may be made in Fred’s name to:  Children’s Flight of Hope, Inc, 113 Eidinburgh South, Suite 203, Cary, NC 27511,  phone: 919.466.8593.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:00 am. on Friday, January 31, 2020 at Champion Funeral Home with Pastor Tony Forman officiating.

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