PEABODY, Mass. — Ruth Alberta Smith Barton, 87, died peacefully on Jan. 8, 2019, in Peabody.
Ruth was born to W.L. and Beulah Smith in Toronto, Canada, on May 10, 1931. She grew up in the town of Ajax, Ontario, near Toronto, with her siblings, Carolyn, Mendal, and Marion, with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby.
She met her husband, David Campbell Barton, at Roberts Wesleyan College in New York. It took a determined effort on David’s part to win her love (which became a favorite family story). They married in 1950 and moved to Rochester, New York, where Ruth graduated with a master's degree in Spanish from the University of Rochester while tending a toddler, Sandra, who was soon followed by two more children, Douglas and Dwight.
Ruth found fulfillment in providing hospitality and a warm home for her family and all who visited. She was deeply devoted to supporting her husband, raising her children to love the Lord and care for other people (many of whom she brought home from church or invited to live with the family when they needed a loving home), teaching Bible studies and constantly sharing God’s love with neighbors and friends.
Retirement was spent in Laconia, New Hampshire, where David taught, and both were involved with Laconia Christian School as well as Laconia Christian Fellowship.
Ruth is survived by her sister, Marion Robart (Ron); her three children, Sandra (Robert) Friedrich, Douglas (Shelly Gilmore) Barton, and Dwight (Marjorie Borne) Barton; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband, David; siblings Carolyn (Sid) and Mendal (Dorothy); and one grandson, Chris.
Ruth loved Jesus, the Bible (which was close by for constant reference), her family (especially her grandchildren who loved to stay with Grammy and Poppy, often all at once), horses (which she looked forward to riding again in heaven), reading, flowers, crosswords, classical music, walking (while talking and not even getting out of breath), ice skating, cross-country skiing, baking (famous for her cookies and squares), and listening with prayerful compassion to all who came to her for encouragement. She rejoiced with those who rejoiced and wept with those who wept, fed the hungry, visited prisoners, and corresponded with friends and family, many of whom were missionaries, all over the world. A common theme in comments from family and friends is Ruth’s unconditional love which was a support to all who knew her.
A celebration of Ruth’s life will occur at Laconia Christian Fellowship in the spring. In lieu of flowers, you are invited to contribute to Laconia Christian Academy, 1386 Meredith Center Road, Laconia, NH 03246; or Compassionate Care Hospice, 248 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Suite 4, Newark, DE 19713.