A tender mercy visited Iris Johnson Barton on August 5, 2014 as she passed away sitting in her favorite chair after reading the paper.
Born March 11, 1921 in Emery, Emery County, UT to Clement Johnson and Alice Foote Johnson, she was the fourth child of seven.
At the age of two months, Iris, her mother and two older sisters joined her father and brother Arlon at Horse-head Point (south of Eastland) in San Juan County. She grew up in a two-room home.
In 1927, Iris began her education in a one-room schoolhouse until the age of 11. In 1932 she returned to Ferron, Emery County, UT to attend school and live with her maternal grandparents, George Albert and Lenah Belle Jones Foote.
Iris graduated from South Emery High School in 1938 and then returned to Horsehead, UT.
She became employed at Hyland Café for a year and the Stop and Eat Café in Monticello, UT for another year, with room and board included with the job.
The summer of 1940, Iris began dating Don Richard Barton, who lived south of Monticello at Verdure.
On February 14, 1941 Don and Iris were married in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On returning home, they lived at Verdure, Don worked in the farming and ranching business.
After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Don was called to leave for World War II in 1944. He served in China, Burma and India.
Iris with her two children D Mark (two) and Betty Ann (two weeks) moved to Monticello after four months and remained there until Don returned home in January of 1946.
Two more children were born after Don returned from World War II, Joseph Richard and Joyce. Don and Iris continued to save and built a new home at Verdure in 1949.
As the children started their education, it became apparent they needed to move to Monticello. In 1954 Don and Iris moved their home to Monticello. They lived in this home until both of their deaths.
Iris said, “Certainly the blessing of motherhood surpasses all other.” Iris was devoted to her husband and children. Don and Iris worked hard on the farm and ranch to make their living and provide for their children.
In the fall of 1960, Iris decided to seek employment outside the home as expenses of college and missions came along.
Iris accepted a job as secretary to the principal at Monticello High School. She worked there through all the years of raising the rest of her children, clear until some of her grandchildren were at the high school.
During this time, Iris and Don were very instrumental in helping administration and teachers who moved to Monticello feel welcome. She loved all the students at the high school and attended to their needs. After 23 years, she retired in June of 1983.
Early in life, Iris learned the importance of work. Iris served in many church positions and in the community throughout her life. She loved to be a part of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.
During the years Don participated on the boards of the Utah Cattlemen Association, she was active with the women in that organization.
Don and Iris were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. Iris and Don served three missions. In 1984 they were called to England Manchester Mission. In 1987, they served in New Mexico Albuquerque Mission. In October 1990, they began their mission as ordinance workers for two years at the Manti Temple, driving every week to work on Thursday and Friday and returning home on Saturday.
Don and Iris celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2001, right before Don passed away. Iris spent the next 13 years attending the new Monticello Temple several times a week, along with reading and making dishcloths for many to enjoy. She was a friend to all and had a testimony that life is eternal.
Iris is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and siblings Arlon, Bulah, Barbara and Elaine.
She is survived by her children Don Mark (Jenny), of Auburn, AL; Betty Ann (Stewart) Lewis, of Snowflake, AZ; Joseph Richard (Carol), of Verdure, UT; Joyce (Richard) Coleman, of American Fork, UT; 31 grandchildren and 100 or more great-grandchildren; sister Marva Butler and brother Kay Rasmus Johnson.
Funeral services were held August 11, 2014 at the Monticello Second Ward LDS Chapel. Interment at the Monticello Cemetery.
Card of thanks
The family of Iris Johnson Barton would like to sincerely thank all the family and friends that so graciously showed many acts of service and kindness at the time of our mother’s passing.
The entire town are the most charitable, loving people. It truly lightened our load at this time.
Also a special thank you for Rocky Mountain Home Health for all the care given to our mother at her home in the past few years and the Senior Citizen Meals On Wheels for their daily support to her at this time of her life.
D Mark & Jenny Barton
Stewart & Betty Lewis
Joe & Carol Barton
Richard & Joyce Coleman