Ray Hunter Barton Jr.

October 22, 1917 - September 7, 2009


Ray Hunter Barton, Jr., beloved physician, admired leader and honored family patriarch, husband, father, grandfather, great, and great-great grandfather, brother, and friend, passed away on September 7, 2009 at the age of 91 at CareSource Hospice in Holladay, Utah. He resided at 6331 South Haven Chase Lane (1700 East) in Murray, Utah at the time of his death.

Ray was born October 22, 1917 to Ray Hunter Barton and Emma Jones Barton in Beaver, Utah

Encouraged to play music at a very young age, Ray discovered his extraordinary talent through his violin. He was also a gifted singer and he played the piano effortlessly by ear. Ray used his musical talent to spread the Gospel message to many audiences.

When he picked up his violin, a serene magic seemed to fill the air. It was truly the "Touch of the Master's Hand." Ray was First Chair violinist in the East High orchestra, and he also played in the University of Utah orchestra and sang in the University Male Quartet and the Utah Ambassadors. While serving an LDS mission to eastern Canada, his influence with three radio stations allowed him to produce weekly religious broadcasts featuring the violinalong with a spiritual message.

Through their violins, Ray met the love of his life, Helen Grant Barton. They were married by Helen's uncle, President Heber J. Grant, in the Salt Lake Temple on November 23, 1938. They were blessed with six devoted childrenthree boys and three girls.

After graduating from the University of Utah, Ray pursued a medical degree from Temple University. He was an old-fashioned "country doctor" and made house calls to appreciative patients for many years. He was a medical doctor for over 45 years. In the military, he served as a Lt. in the Navy Medical Corps in World War II, and then as a Captain in the Army in the Korean War.

His church callings include: Mission President in the Great Southwest British Mission in Bristol, England from 1965 to 1968, Bishop of the Eagle Gate Eighteenth Ward, High Councilman, Co-Director (with his wife) of the Church-wide Family to Family Book of Mormon program, a speaker in the Church Education System, Jordan River Temple Supervisor, Temple Square Mission Host, Temple Square Concert Series Committee, Teacher trainer in several wards, and he served as secretary in the North America Southeast area presidency and as an assistant to Elder M. Russell Ballard. He conducted multiple choirs and he's probably conducting a heavenly angelic choir today.

His civic contributions include: National President of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, Keynote speaker, and coordinator of the American Medical Association and Granite Education Foundation's "Straight Talk" program, where he has spoken to over 100,000 students, and President of Dinorator. Governor Michael O. Leavitt presented the "Governor's Points of Light" award in 2001 for exemplary Utah volunteers whose ongoing efforts impact their community. In 2006, Dr. Ray received the "Pioneers of Progress" award for outstanding Utahns.

Ray set a standard of excellence and hard work, whether it was conducting his 250- member Mormon Choir of England in 1966, recording with Stanley Black's Orchestra in London, to the delivering of over 2,000 babies. He was never ashamed to bear his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, without hesitation, no matter where he was.

His family was most important to him. He and his wife, Helen, shared an incredible life together. They supported every baptism, blessing and family gathering. He has indelibly touched the lives of all that have been blessed to know him. His life exemplified service.

Dr. Ray is survived by his loving and caring children; Catherine B. Pedersen (Robert), Grant E. Barton (Marilyn), Judith Ann Sabourin (Jon)), Ray H. Barton III, Bruce E. Barton (Jane), and Helen B. Peterson (Gary); as well as his sweet sister, Helen Barton Parker. He has 29 grandchildren, 62 great-grand children, and three great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Helen Grant Barton, on July 13, 2003; his parents, brother Blayney Barton, and grandchildren Jonny Sabourin Jr. and David Barton Pedersen.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, September 14, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. in the Cottonwood Thirteenth Ward Chapel, 1830 East 6400 South, Murray, Utah. Friends and family may call on Sunday, September 13, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary, 3401 South Highland Drive (1495 East), and at the Cottonwood Thirteenth Ward uilding on Monday, September 14, 2009 from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Interment will be in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
Published in the Deseret News from September 12 to September 13, 2009.