James Michael Barton was born on April 2, 1940, the son of Mary Kelly and Joseph Barton. He died July 26, 2021. Over his 81 years, Mike enjoyed travel, good food, fast cars, and great friends.
During his decades working for Ardco, he earned the title of Senior Vice President in charge of international sales. His profession allowed him to travel the world making his mark in business. And while sales earned him a good living, Mike was really an engineer at heart…created cars, boats, homes, and a caring family.
Mike, after graduating from Galesburg High School, married Carolyn Goudie in 1961. From that union he fathered three beautiful daughters: Kathi, Michelle, and Christine.
With his daughters, he shared his lifelong love of motor sports. It was common for him to take them to the track when they were young to cheer him on while racing Corvettes or have them track him down while working in the garage. It’s at the track he made some of his closest lifelong friendships over the years. On weekends it was common to have Nascar or golf on the televisions in the house and garage.
When not at the track, Mike also loved his time on the greens with friends, specifically the 19th hole.
His many relationships over the years had him making a home in multiple places in numerous states, finally laying down roots in Forsyth, Missouri.
In retirement, Mike enjoyed traveling for pleasure instead of work. He loved to cruise and see different parts of the world. His international connection helped to inspire his interest in food. His conversations with family and friends frequently revolved around good food. Grilling out was one of his personal favorites.
In the weeks before his passing, Mike was asked about his life, and he indicated he felt fortunate he was able to go and do everything he ever wanted. Up until his last days on earth, Mike was still making plans to travel to visit family and friends in different parts of the country.
Mike is survived by brother Joseph and his wife Barbara, and his sister Judy and her husband Brock; his daughters Kathi (Mark), Michelle (Kirk) and Christine (Davyd); four grandchildren (Austin, Summer, Rebecca, Derek); and his special companion Shirley O’Connor.