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Obituaries

Rye Native Dr. Louis Barton Was A True Scholar

Dr. Barton at the time of earning his Ph.D. at Oxford University.
Dr. Barton at the time of earning his Ph.D. at Oxford University. Photo Credit: Robert Barton

Longtime Westchester resident Dr. Louis Wyatt Gunn Barton died in late August at Little Farm, his home of 40 years in Ocie, MO. 

Dr. Barton, age 72, was a lifelong student with prodigious academic successes. He was top student and class president at George School, and he graduated magna cum laude from Yale. He studied for masters degrees at Harvard and MIT and earned a doctoral degree in Software Engineering from Oxford University in England. 

During his Oxford years, he suffered from ill health and did most of his studying at his home in Ocie. Oxford made an extraordinary decision to fly three faculty members to St. Louis to enable successful defense of his thesis, Theory of Semantic Data Representations for Non-Determinant Symbol Systems.

During his youth in Rye, in addition to academic successes, Dr. Barton was a successful sailboat racer, musician and artist. His musical skill eventually resulted in his playing the organ for churches near where he lived. 

He also learned new skills. He assembled his small house mainly from logs rescued from an historic cabin. He built out-buildings and created paths  and a pond. At the time of his death, his primary car was a beautifully restored 1992 Dodge Spirit with leather seats and a custom hood ornament, and he was well along on converting a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck into a camper for road trips he was planning.

Dr. Barton taught briefly at several universities, did research and consulting and wrote a great deal, including letters to his local newspaper, the Ozark Times. His last major writing was a book entitled Heirs and Heirlooms of the White House which he submitted in 2021 for consideration by the Library of Congress.

Dr. Barton is survived by four brothers, Samuel G. Barton III of Washington, D.C.; Robert B. Barton of New Hamburg, NY; William G. Barton of Brooklin, ME and David B. Barton of Rye. He is also survived by his daughter Sarah Fearnow of Tucson, AZ, and her children Micaela and Zachary.

There will be a memorial gathering at Yale on Dec. 4, 2021 and interested parties may contact Bob Barton at canvasbob413@gmail.com. Gifts in honor of Dr. Barton will be welcomed at Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University or the Humane Society of Missouri.

Obituary contributed by the Barton family.

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