March 22, 2011
Roger P. Barton
Sadly, and without warning, I’ve lost the second half of my being, my lover, my partner, my best friend of 39 wonderful years. Rog passed from this world to the next on Tuesday, March 22nd at the young age of 63. He was born in Harrisburg, PA on December 23, 1947 to Warren H. Barton and Jean Spahr (both deceased) of Duncannon, PA. He grew up in Duncannon and graduated from Susquenita High School in 1965. During those formative years, he enjoyed playing both baseball and basketball, which carried through the rest of his life both as a player and then as a coach of local girls’ softball, Association of Retarded Citizens basketball coach, and most recently transitioning to umpiring for the PIAA.
His college years were spent at Penn State University, graduating from the Smeal College of Business in 1969. He served as the President of the Kappa Chapter of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and the Inter-fraternity Council. He was a current member of the Kappa Alumni Board and the PSU Alumni Association. After graduation, he became a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the PA Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, retiring as Director of Program Operations for the Bureau in 2007 after 37 ½ years of dedicated service to the agency. Highly regarded by his rehab colleagues both statewide and nationally, he was awarded the 2007 PA Rehabilitation Association Charles Eby Administrator Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership and devotion to individuals with disabilities. He was elected President of PRA in 2011. He was one of the original owners of Roxy’s Café, Harrisburg.
Roger had a passion for people. He never met a stranger and possessed an unwavering kinship with so many. He had an infectious love of all music and was known for his constant singing from the minute he awoke in the morning.
Roger is survived by his wife Jorja (Hare) Barton, daughter Emily, wife of Paul Arnold and his adoring grandchildren Jacob and Haylee, his son Scott of San Francisco, CA; brother Robert W. Barton and wife Tegwynn, of Harrisburg. He is also survived by countless friends. All of us are truly blessed for his presence in our lives.
A memorial service will be held at the Hoover Funeral Home, Hershey, PA on Saturday March 26, at 2:00 PM. Visitation will be held from 12:00 noon to 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a memorial established in his name with the PA Rehabilitation Association which will provide scholarships to students in the vocational rehabilitation field. Donations can be sent to PRA c/o Carl Marshall, 2304 Bellevue Road, Harrisburg, PA 17104