Longtime Hamilton resident George L. Barton IV, 68, died November 24, 2012 at Avon, NC where he had enjoyed a week of relaxation and surf fishing with his wife, Kathy.
A respected and well liked English and Journalism teacher at Park View High School in Sterling since 2002, Barton returned to his early roots in education following a distinguished military career in the Army and leadership positions that included election as the first At-Large Chairman of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors. He also taught English at the Loudoun campus of Northern Virginia Community College. A mentor and guiding force for his students, Barton crafted his teaching philosophy around belief in self, urging students to “take control of your life. Dare to dream and take risks. If you aren’t willing to work for your goals, don’t expect others to.”
Born in Kansas City, MO on January 10, 1944, Barton graduated from Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, later receiving Master’s degrees in English from the University of Virginia and Journalism from American University, and a Doctorate in Education from George Washington University. After graduating from VMI, Barton was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division and was honorably discharged as a captain after combat wounds. He received the Purple Heart four times, the Silver Star, and two Bronze Stars.
Barton was editor of the Fauquier Democrat before moving to Loudoun in 1983 to become editor of the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Under his guidance, the newspaper’s award-winning coverage helped create the FBI investigation leading to the 1988 arrest of Lyndon LaRouche for mail fraud. Barton later opened his own public relations agency, George Barton Enterprises, which he ran for six years, closing it in 1995 to assume directorship of Loudoun’s Shenandoah University campus.
In 1991, Barton was elected as the Loudoun Board of Supervisors first At-Large Chair, serving from 1992-95. His leadership, communication skills, and ability to create cohesiveness created an efficient and well-organized structure for the Board during a period of growth and fiscal stress in the County. During his tenure, Barton worked with the Board to bring public water to residents near the County landfill.
In 1995, Governor Allen named Barton to Chair the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, a group established by the Commonwealth to work toward bringing major league baseball to Virginia. Barton accepted the challenge with determination and quickly had the group functioning even though it lacked financial or staffing support from the state. He also chaired the Education and Workforce Development Committee of the county's Economic Development Commission. Barton spent 10 years as a volunteer firefighter in Loudoun County with the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department and was a certified CPR instructor.
Surviving are wife, Kathy Fleming Barton; children, Sara Barton of New York, Ethan Barton and his wife, Cyndi, of Colorado, and India Barton Rose and her husband, John, of Rapidan, VA, and four grandchildren, Peyton, Corinne, John III and Cecelia. Also surviving are his father, the Rev. George Barton III of Irvington, VA; sister, Cecelia Barton, and husband, Kent McCraney of Irvington, VA, and brother, David Barton and his wife, Sarah, of Lynchburg.
The family will receive friends at the Colonial Funeral Home, Leesburg, on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. Services will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. at Harmony United Methodist Church, Hamilton, with a celebration of his life to follow at the church. Burial will take place on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Arlington National Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 44, Hamilton, Va. 20159 and the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058.