Wes BartonWritten by Theresa Rose on December 14, 2020
Wesley Dale Barton, 88, went home to his Lord on Saturday December 12th. He was surrounded by his loving family at the home he had built in Mt. Pleasant. The son of JF & Marie Barton, he was born June 15, 1932 on the family farm in Mt. Pleasant. Growing up on a farm, he learned the value of hard work and helping family and neighbors. He attended the country school through 8th grade walking or riding his pony, Mickey. He then attended Mt. Pleasant High School graduating in 1950. Two years later in October 1952 he enlisted into the U.S. Army serving in Korea from May 1953 to September 1954.
In 1956, he married Geraldine (Gerry) Auge in Fort Madison, Iowa. Their love story spanned 64 years. They made their first home in Cedar Rapids In 1959 they returned to Mt. Pleasant where he worked as a foreman for H. Eugene Smith Construction. His unparalleled work ethic and entrepreneurial mindset led him to start his own construction business in 1966, Wesley Barton Construction. The company started out predominantly building homes, but his love of concrete work led to specializing in that area. He grew the company for 35 years and he employed many who made it their life career working for him. In the early 2000’s, his son Mike took over the operation and became the owner of Wesley Barton Construction that is still in business today.
In addition to many business ventures, he also put his time and heart into his community. In 1994, Wes, H. Eugene Smith, Jim Kinney & Sons, and Jean C. Wiley formed, BKSW LLC to focus on local projects. Along with the help of many others in the community the Rec Center in Mt. Pleasant was built, one of Wes’s proudest achievements. Wes was a member of First Baptist Church, a lifelong member of the VFW, American Legion, and Lambirth Cemetery board. He was also a member of the Southeast Iowa Builders.
Wes quietly gave and served others, helped many in need, and set an amazing example by which to live by to all who knew him. He loved Old Threshers and was honored to receive a Volunteer of the Year award. In 2011 he and Gerry were blessed to be Grand Marshalls of the Harvest Parade.
Wes would tell you he was blessed in many ways even as he endured medical challenges most of his life. His gifts were many, but the best gift of all was his seven children. Wes, fondly known by many as “Red”, loved endlessly and never knew a stranger. Wes and Gerry spent many wonderful winters in Arizona where he easily formed many bonds with people in their development. He made people feel instantly at home with his kindness, wonderful sense of humor, and easy-going personality. He was a true patriarch of the family he led with love, kindness, and strength. The Family has grown to 14 grandchildren,15 great grandchildren and to them all he was affectionately known as “Pa”. As grandchildren arrived, they became the most important thing in his life. He showered them with love, taught them to drive vehicles in the fields, and spent endless hours of play at their home or at the warehouse riding go carts, golf carts, or anything with a motor and wheels.
Wes’ love for the Lord showed through his kindness and grace towards all. In his teens he asked the Lord to come into his heart and was later baptized in Cedar Creek. He often said that without Him the Lord, he could not have made it to the age of 88.
Wes is survived by his wife Gerry and 6 children, Jim Barton, Mike (Lyndel) Barton, Kathy (Mike) McAlister, Phil (Karen) Barton, Pete Barton, & Missy (Jeff) Sitar. And grandchildren Matthew and Ryan (Jim), Blaire and Gabe (Mike), Amanda and Brooke (Kathy), Weston, Whitney, and Willow (Richard), Ashley (Pete), Sam and Max (Phil), Marie and JC (Missy). Also, 15 great grandchildren: Morgan, Reece, and Alek (Blaire), Cole and Mac (Gabe), Flynn and Emery (Amanda), Elle (Matthew), Walker and Avery (Whitney), Audri, Marley, Charlotte, Michael, and Chloe (Ashley). Wes was preceded in death by his parents JF and Marie, his son Richard, grandson Cale Barton and his sisters Wanda Wesely & Eloise Moyle.
A visitation will be held 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel in Mt. Pleasant, Thursday, December 17, 2020, the family will not be present. A private family service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, December, 18, 2020. It will be livestreamed at Powell Funeral Homes Facebook page and at our website, www.powellfuneralhomes.com. A public celebration of life will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his honor will go to Midwest Old Threshers and Muscular Dystrophy Association in Iowa. The family would welcome any personal notes, memories or stories you have about Wes. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or via voicemail at 312-725-3495.