Deacon John Newell Barton, passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 3, 2022, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family.
John was born in Worcester, son of the late, Peter and Helen (Denison) Barton. He graduated from Sutton High School and Worcester State College, where he was a talented athlete excelling in baseball and basketball. He was named a T & G Allstar in basketball.
He married the love of his life, Donna Symonowicz, on May 2, 1970, at Saint
Christopher’s Church; they loved each other with every fiber of their being, and recently celebrated fifty-one years together. They enjoyed travelling extensively with family to the Caribbean, California, New Orleans, and of course Disney.
Along with his wife, Donna, he is survived by their son, Derek Edwin Barton; a grandson, William George Barton; step grandson, Sean Sequist; a brother, Lincoln Dennison Barton of Florida; two sisters, Leigh Trumbull Barton of Metairie, LA, and Laura Winslow Barton of Cambridge; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; his Godchild, Erin Symonowicz; and Kerry McCormack, whom he and Donna considered a daughter. He had a deep friendship with his pastor and friend Fr. Stanely Krutcik and Donna and his best friends Deacon Kevin and Michelle Deignan.
John showed his love for his son, Derek and grandson, William in so many ways-never missing school events, concerts, or sporting events. He and Donna were especially proud of William for having achieved a “black belt” in Karate. Sean also made them proud with his skill in Soccer and Karate.
John was an adult softball umpire in Rhode Island. He was also a FIFA Soccer referee and assessor for the State of Massachusetts. He coached Soccer in Wachusett and Worcester youth Soccer, leading his teams to many championships. He was also a coach of the Bay State Games and for several years, he coached the Olympic Development Teams in Massachusetts, Canada, and other Eastern States. He also coached a successful women’s soccer team at Assumption College. John was proud to have had the opportunity to coach and referee many games and tournaments with his son.
John was a talented musician and singer, who began performing at an early age. His voice was like velvet and he played the bass guitar. His first band was the “Personals” followed by “The Twilighters”, “Down East”, and “New Trend”. He performed at many social events and night clubs and was a cantor at Our Lady of Loreto Church.
John worked for New England Telephone as a network consultant and was a member of the Pioneer Club. He was also a Customer Service Manager for the City of Worcester D.P.W.
John converted to Catholicism before he married Donna and that faith became deep and abiding. He entered the Diaconate Program of the Diocese of Worcester in 2003 and was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2009. He served the Bishop and the people of the Diocese of Worcester at Holy Family Parish, Saint Christopher, Our Lady of Loreto-Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Our Lady of Good Counsel; returning to Saint Christopher in his retirement. He was blessed to have been a part of the lives of his parishioners as they celebrated life’s joys or comfort them in their time of crisis or sorrow.
He further embraced his faith as a member of the Knight of Columbus Alhambra Council where he was Past Faithful Navigator of the 4th degree Bishop O’Reilly Assembly.
His family deeply appreciate the empathy and care of his physicians, Dr. Jason Kass, his extraordinary Surgeon, Dr. Bradley Switzer, his incomparable Oncologist, and his long-time physician Dr. Kenneth Kronlund. Thank you for two more years with John.
Calling Hours will be on Monday, February 7, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. in Saint Christopher Church, 950 West Boylston Street, Worcester, with a Vigil Service at 7 p.m. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 8, at 11 a.m. in Saint Christopher Church. Interment will follow at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.
A “Go Fund Me” page has been established on Face Book to help defray medical and funeral expenses.