Obituary of Hazel Barton
On May 7, 2018, Hazel “Jill” Barton passed away during a regular weekend visit to her daughter’s home in Atlanta, GA.
On Saturday, May 12, 2018, we will lay the body of Jill Barton to rest. Not her spirit, not her strength, not her kindness, or her love for her family and friends, but just her body. The pneumonia may have won the short-term battle, but Jill won the war by never giving up, never letting go and never allowing leukemia to defeat her heart. The Lord, in His kindness, finally could bear witness no more to her struggles and took her soul to Heaven, where her body would founder no more and her spirit would abide. Jill fought again and again for more time with her beloved husband and soulmate, Fred, and for more time on Earth with her children, Joe, Kim and Valerie, and all their loved ones; but, the Lord called her home and we have no choice but to listen, grieve and be thankful for our time with her, until the Lord calls all of us to rest.
Jill was always a quiet fighter, first tackling her parents’ love of pigtails and then developing her newleywed strategy to smooth her Marine ‘s rough edges and transform him into true Husband material. As usual, her patience and persistence persevered, leaving her free to lovingly grow and nurture her relationship with Fred, the love of her lifetime, and with her children, born one, two three in 1960, 1962 and 1964.
By having 3 children, Jill’s life was not without trials and tribulations, but she taught her children well, preferring to correct errant behavior with a sidelong glance rather than a newly-cropped switch from a weeping willow. The “Jill” look worked to suspend not only the misbehavings of youth, but also to keep her adult children in line, with each of us never wanting to see the look of disappointment in her beautiful hazel eyes. Her strength gave us steady purchase upon which to climb, her humor kept us sane when climbing seemed too scary, her joy in our achievements gave us confidence and her loving heart always brought us home. Her youngest daughter, Valerie, is about to have her first child and will only say that she hopes to bring that same mix of love and expectations to her daughter or son, giving them the same sturdy strength and lofty wings that allowed her the courage to conquer the world.
No one so beautiful has developed in isolation. During every moment of Jill’s adult life, she shared every moment of glory, pain, euphoria, sadness, joy and grief with the love of her lifetime, Fred, the person who held her hand from the moment they were married until the moment she died, and who will hold her hand through eternity. Over their lifetimes, Fred and Jill developed the humor that only parents can understand.
Fred and Jill became partners in business, running an assisted care living facility and a day care center, followed shortly by real estate developments both large and small. The term ‘partners’ was important to Jill, who made it clear to Fred more than once that she was not his secretary and that if he needed to get someone on the phone then it was sitting right there on the desk. Jill and Fred were always game for a challenge, a shared entrepreneurial spirit that characterized the second half of their working lives, “after the children left.”
Jill also shared her lifetime love of animals of all kinds, from her time growing up on Daddy Phares’ and Mama Ruby’s farm, to her time spent time volunteering at the Riverbanks Zoo, observing wildlife, and to her lifetime spent adopting and loving each and every dog that graced her home; Sabre, Trixy, Baron, Jemima, Jasmine, Freddy, Cleo, Sasha, Jessie, Josie, and Bella. Jill was never happier than with a dog to cuddle up with, either at home of when visiting with family and friends.
Jill also showed a huge fondness for roads traveled, finding her way with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and beloved older sister, Bonnie, to visit England and France, then off to Germany, Zermatt, Switzerland, to ski with Fred and dear friends Bill and Monique Palinginas, and later in life out west to Las Vegas and down south to Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Jill spent a lot of her free time, following retirement, working jigsaw puzzles, keeping her mind sharp with the challenge of a new puzzle kept her busy and entertained for hours and it gave her a sense of great satisfaction when she could complete each one.
Jill loved to cook, taking her role as homemaker seriously, and many of her recipes will continue to bring joy to the family. Having said that, taking the time to go out to eat, to enjoy each other’s company and give her a break from kitchen.
Jill was a strong and resilient woman who survived for 18 years battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Complications from the leukemia gave her her share of challenges over the year and she rose to each and every one with the determination to see it through and recover. A stroke that nobody expected changed her life in October of 2016, leaving her with the steepest hill to climb and even that challenge was met with stubborn confidence to get herself walking and out of the wheelchair that held her down.
She didn’t let the wheelchair stop her from living life and took joy in making it to the cinema, trips to visit with family and go to the zoo and the aquarium.
The stoke led them to change their living arrangements, downsizing to a smaller home that they could more easily manage, and this became a source of unexpected joy as she and Fred relished all the opportunities of setting up their new home, the picture below was taken following the signing of the contract for the new house and those smiles say it all.
She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother and a grandmother, and had enough heart to sustain the lot of them. Her family looks forward to teaching her seventh grandchild, expected to be born in June 2018, and her first great-grandchild, expected in July, about the pillar of strength of the Barton family, their truly strong, amazing, loving and kind Mema, Grandma, Jill, Mrs. B, Mamacita, Bootsie, and every other loving term of endearment we know. We will miss her with all our hearts.
Jill is survived by her husband, J. Fred Barton, III, Lexington SC, her siblings Harold “Jack” Hinton, Bolligee Al, George Hinton, Tuscaloosa Al, Jerri Pruitt, Tuscaloosa Al; her children and their spouses; Joseph F. Barton, IV, Gretchen Barton, Winfield Al, Kim Thomas, Douglas Thomas Jr., West Columbia SC, Valerie Barton and Emma Judson, Decatur GA; and her grandchildren, Kasey Thomas, West Columbia SC, Kelsey Thomas, West Columbia SC, Jennifer Lynn Barton, Lexington SC, Danielle Nicole Barton, Broken Arrow OK, Ashley Lynette Barton, Summerville SC and Crystal Leigh Barton, Lexington SC.
Jill was pre-deceased by her parents Phares Hinton and Ruby Hinton, Tuscaloosa Al, and sisters Bonnie Wyatt and Dorothy Pruitt, Tuscaloosa Al.
The funeral will consist of a Visitation, on May 11, 2018, from 6pm-8pm at Thompson Funeral Home of Lexington (4720 Augusta Rd, Lexington, SC 29073). The Funeral Ceremony will occur on May 12, 2018, from 10am-11am at Corpus Christi Catholic Church (2350 Augusta Hwy, Lexington, SC 29072), followed by the Interment Service at 11:30am at Woodridge Mausoleum Chapel (138 Corley Mill Rd, Lexington, SC 29072).
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations are made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org).