Cover photo for A. Kathleen Barton's Obituary
A. Kathleen Barton Profile Photo
1932 A. 2024

A. Kathleen Barton

February 19, 1932 — April 8, 2024


Alice Kathleen (Healy) Barton 92, passed away on Monday April 8, 2024 in Spring Arbor, Michigan. 

She was born on February 19, 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa the youngest of two children of Leroy and Florence (Pfander) Healy.  After living in Iowa during her early youth, Kathy’s family moved to Pensacola, Florida.  She excelled in school and was involved in many extracurricular activities including the marching band and graduated as Salutatorian of her class in 1950.

  Upon graduation, she moved to Michigan to pursue a degree in Music Therapy at Michigan State College.  She never returned to Pensacola, choosing to remain in Michigan during summer breaks.  She worked as a waitress at Win Schuler’s restaurant in Marshall, Michigan and also worked detasseling corn, which was difficult for the petite woman she was. She later changed her major to elementary education but retained her love for music.  and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1954. While attending college, she met Michael Barton, an Agriculture student from Maumee, Ohio. They were married on September 1, 1953, and traveled to England where Mike served two years in the U.S. Army.

After his service, Mike and Kathy moved to Kathy’s Uncle’s farm in Clarinda, Iowa.  They realized that the farm wasn’t large enough to support multiple families, so they moved first to Grand Rapids, Ohio, and then to Horton, Michigan.  They struggled for a few years before selling the mineral rights to their property, which paid the debts.  After having some success, they purchased more farmland in Homer, Michigan.  While growing the farm, Kathy also raised three children, Bruce, Greg, and Connie. 

Kathy taught kindergarten for one year at Concord Elementary School, because the school was short on teachers.   She enjoyed teaching but was needed more at home and on the farm where she did all of the bookkeeping, ordering of supplies, and made countless trips to hardware and farm supply stores to keep things running.  She nursed baby pigs when new sows were sick and litters had to be removed from their mothers early.   She was an integral part of the farm for many years. Kathy also cooked lunch every day for the farm workers, her children, and the various other paddler friends and exchange students that lived at the farm over the years.

Kathy was a proud member of the Calhoun County Farm Bureau, Homer FFA Alumni, Monday Club, Michigan Bicycle Touring Club, and Kellogg Farmer’s Study Group. She loved to ride her bike and canoe race, even winning the United States Canoe Association National Championship in 1970 and 1971 with Iva Sawtelle.  Kathy also traveled extensively across Europe, Asia, Africa, New Zealand, and North America with family, on farming tours, and also by canoe and bike.  These trips continued well into her eighties.  She frequently played the piano and sang as her young children grew up on the farm in Horton.  She performed in the church choir at the Universalist Church in Horton, prior to moving to Homer, where she continued to sing in the Homer Community Choir for many years.  Kathy also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren- painting, baking, gardening, crafting and teaching them to sew, embroider, and knit.  

Kathy was preceded in death by her parents Leroy and Florence, and husband of 68 years, Michael.

She is survived by her brother Thomas Healy, children Bruce (Roxanne) Barton, Greg (Justine) Barton, Connie (Tom) Cannon, six grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.  

Memorial contributions can be sent to the Homer Area Community Foundation Barton Farm Co. Endowment Fund P.O. Box 201, Homer, MI 49245.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral & Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27N, Marshall, MI 49068.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of A. Kathleen Barton, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 1186

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree