Ruth Mae Grant Barton was born on September 19, 1914 and died at home in Oak Ridge on December 26, 2003. Ruth was second of the seven children of David and Nina Grant of Parkersburg, West Virginia. She was born there and lived on a farm outside Parkersburg until she was 9. She attended a one room school for 3 years. The Grant family moved to Parkersburg after Mr. Grant, an employee of the C&O railroad, built the family home there. As a young girl, Ruth made the decision to attend college. She was the first member of her family to do so. Despite her family's poverty and the economic hardship of the depression, Ruth financed her education at Bluefield College, and Marshall College, where she received her BA degree in 1939. She met her future husband, Charles J. Barton, Sr., the same year in Huntington, West Virginia, and they were married the following year. They moved to the family home on Outer Drive in 1948 with their three sons, and Mrs. Barton resided there until her death.
She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, a Sunday school teacher, a church librarian at both Glenwood Baptist Church and First Baptist Church. Mrs. Barton was also active in the Clinton Baptist Association's Women's Missionary Union. While serving as president of the Clinton Association's WMU, she led a planning effort by the Baptist Women of Anderson County that led to the establishment of a community center at Briceville in Anderson County. In 1988 Mrs. Barton wrote a history of the Clinton Association WMU, "I Was Hungered." She was for many years active in Contact, a volunteer help line. She was also in the Prisoners Aid Society of Tennessee, as well as many other community, religious and charitable activities.
In addition to her three sons, Mrs. Barton mothered a foster child, Sharon Kay Damp. She is survived by her husband, Charles Barton, Sr., Brothers, Donald Grant of Parkersburg, West Virginia and Bernard Grant of Las Vegas, Nevada; Sons, Charles, David and Michael and their wives, Ilana, Ann, and Lorna; Step-grandchildren, Talya Bernstein Galaganov and Alon Bernstein; Grandchildren, Gregory, Julia, Matthew and Blair Barton; And one great-grandchild, Zachary Sarantitus.
She is also survived by her foster daughter Sharon and her sons Keith Riner, and Jeff Hughes, and her 3 grandchildren, Drew and Bret Hughes and Michael Riner.
All who knew Mrs. Barton attested to her strength of character, her intelligence and her earnest disposition which carried her through the 89 years of her life, until she left us. She was greatly loved and will be missed by her family and many Oak Ridge friends. She was a good woman, a good wife of 63 years to her husband, a good mother to her children, a force for good in her community, and one of the pillars upon which the world is built.
The family will receive mourners from 9:00 AM until 10:30 AM, Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at the First Baptist Church of Oak Ridge. Mrs. Barton's funeral will be held at 10:30 AM followed by the interment in Oak Ridge Memorial Park. The family request that donations in lieu of flowers be made in Ruth Barton's memory to Contact Help Line Inc., P.O. Box 4641, Oak Ridge, TN 37830 or to Community Mediation Services, Room 115, Anderson County Court House, Clinton, TN 37716 (468-6888). Weatherford Mortuary, Oak Ridge is handling arrangements.