Joseph Francis Barton

August 11, 1926 ~ January 8, 2020

Joseph Francis Barton, 93, a lifetime resident of San Juan County, passed away January 8, 2020, at the San Juan County Hospital in Monticello, of causes incident to age.

He was born August 11, 1926 at Verdure, UT to Karl Stephen and Ella Jones Barton. He was the fourth of five children born to them: Clyde M (Nina), Don R (Iris J.), Marie (Jack) Palmer, Norma (Harold) Tanner.

He was raised on the ranch at Verdure. In his youth he contracted Tularemia from playing with infected rabbits. He was one of only five reported cases that year to survive.  

Shortly after that incident, he fell and suffered a subdural hematoma to his brain. He was taken to Salt Lake City for surgery and treatment to save his life.

He attended school in Monticello and after graduating from high school, he attended one semester at Brigham Young University. He was called on a mission to Denmark and served three years from 1946-1949.

When he completed his mission, he returned to Utah and began his lifelong occupation of farming and ranching.  

At a Halloween Party in the fall of 1946, he entered the costume contest. The judge awarded him first prize, which was a box of chocolates. She was Iris Tennant, a newly arrived schoolteacher from Idaho.

He shared the prize with her, and six months later, on April 21, 1950, they were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

They welcomed five children to their family: Bonnie (John) Roberts, Tabiona, UT; Judy (deceased); Stephen Francis (Debra), Monticello; Charles Max, Monticello; and Kathern “Kitty” (Jeff) Young, Castle Rock, UT.

They lived at Verdure for ten years and then built a home in Monticello where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Francis was an active committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served faithfully in the youth programs and as a Sunday School teacher for many years.  He also served as a Stake and Ward Missionary. He taught his children the gospel by word and example.  

He loved hard work and four-legged animals of all kinds, and he was a champion of the underdog. 

He enjoyed participating in church and community activities, always willing to ham it up and ad-lib for a good laugh. He had a terrific sense of humor.

He loved having his children with him no matter how much effort it took to bring them along. He loved every one of his 19 grand and 27 great-grandchildren.

He is survived by four of his children and all of his grand and great-grandchildren. He is preceeded in death by his wife, daughter Judy, his parents, and his siblings and their spouses.

Funeral services were held Monday, January 13, 2020 in Monticello. Burial in the Monticello City Cemetery.

Card of thanks

Francis’s family wishes to thank all his neighbors for their compassionate care of dad these past few years. Thank you to the nurses and doctors at San Juan Hospital and Four Corners Regional Care Center. A special thanks to Danny Palmer.


San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday