Clyde M. Barton age 91, passed away peacefully on February 11, 2008 in Blanding, UT. After enduring several years of living in the darkness of Alzheimer’s, and being absent from our lives, we are comforted knowing he is finally at peace.
He was born on November 22, 1916, in the family home at Verdure, UT, to Karl Stephen and Ella Christina Makelprang Jones Barton. He was their first born.
As the oldest son, he was called on to do a mans’ work at a very early age. The chores of a young boy in a growing pioneer family, was endless. He learned about hard work. The work ethic and character he developed in his youth defined who he was for life.
He attended school in Monticello and after graduation, went to the A.C. in Logan, then two years at BYU. He was then called back home to help run the sheep and work the ranch with his father.
He was fiercely independent… this trait was developed when as a young boy, he spent many days and nights alone, herding sheep. From age 7, he was sent riding a horse and leading a pack mule to the top of the mountain to take supplies to the herders, returning home well after dark.
It was during these experiences that he learned to speak the Navajo language from the sheep herders. He had a special bond with the Indians and he helped them in quiet ways throughout his life.
In 1939, a pretty young blonde school teacher from Clearfield, UT, arrived in Monticello. They met at the Saturday night dances held at the “Dude Ranch”. After a year-long courtship, he married Nina Sessions on December 20, 1940 in the Salt Lake Temple.
They started their married life at Verdure. After 10 years, they built a home in Monticello and he lived there the remainder of his life.
After 59 years of marriage, she passed away in 1999.
Dad spent his entire life working at Verdure “the ranch” six miles south of Monticello. This little green valley at the foot of the dug-way was his “little slice of heaven.” It was here he felt most at home.
He loved the rock ledges and pines, the stately old barn, fields and green pastures, the sunrises and sunsets and the always present “Horsehead” on his beloved Blue Mountain. When he left San Juan, he was always looking over his shoulder until he returned.
Dad was most comfortable in his cowboy boots and hat. He was happiest when riding horse and tracking cows. He was a prominent livestock rancher and took great pride in his sheep and cattle. He was a great horseman who loved good horses. He had a keen eye for choosing the best and wouldn’t settle for anything until he found just what he wanted. He had a unique knowledge and respect for animals, nature and the land he toiled on and took care of. He was very thrifty. His “make do with what you have, or do without” attitude got him by all his life. He could take a piece of leather, some rivets, a few tools, and reinvent almost anything.
The pioneer heritage of his “Hole in the Rock” ancestors, was a rich source of pride and inspiration to him. Their unwavering faith and courage was such a strength to him his entire life. He always gained great comfort from retelling their stories, keeping their memory alive for his family.
As a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served diligently in all his callings. He served 10 years as Ward Clerk, and was a Seventy in the High Priest Quorum. With Mom by his side, he served in the Bluff Branch Presidency and later at Aneth Indian boarding school, every Sunday for 4 1/2 years, where his ability to speak Navajo was an added blessing.
The legacy he left is his example of hard work, fairness in his dealings and his heartwarming sense of devotion to our mother in her final few years. We find comfort in knowing they are together now as eternal companions…and that his fading memory of her is now restored and that their reunion has been especially tender.
He is survived by his three children: Karl (LaRue) Barton, of Monticello; Barbara (Tom) Callister, of Delta, UT; David (Tammy) Barton, of Blanding, UT; 11 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.
Card of thanks
We as a family would like to express our gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the Four Corners Regional Care Center, nurses and other staff, for all the kindness and care given to Dad at this difficult time in his life.