Barton, William Earl Dennis of Stratford, passed away on Monday, May 31, 2021, at St. Mary’s Memorial Hospital, at the age of 85. Dearly loved husband of Elizabeth (Small) Barton and proud father of Paul Barton (Deb), Lisa Barton (Brock), Tim Barton (Jane) and Terry Barton (Janelle). Cherished grandfather of Andrew, Jessica (Dustan), Quinn, Niamh, Lily, Mark, Elliot Earl, Fiona and Charles. Dear brother of Joyce Sommers (Jim), Ruth Nicholls (Larry) and Mark Barton (Cathy). Predeceased by his parents, Robert and Velma Barton and three siblings Ken Barton (Charlotte), Darlene Adlam (Milford) and Tom Barton (Sally). Sadly missed by numerous nieces and nephews.
Having left high school early, in the mid-1950s, he completed an apprenticeship with the Stratford CNR, repairing locomotives as a steamfitter. He then worked for the Kitchener Trades Union for a number of years following the closing of the CNR shops. In the early 1960s, he attained a job with the Stratford Fire Department, for which he served for over 30 years, before retiring in 1995.
Earl was a strong supporter of sports. In his early years, he played Jr. B hockey in Seaforth for the Baldwins and later Sr. with the Exeter Mohawks. He also was involved with competitive football and is in both the London and Kitchener Sports Halls of Fame with the London Lords and Kitchener Flying Dutchman ORFU Championship football teams he played on. He later was heavily involved in Stratford Minor Hockey in various capacities. He coached and served as a trainer for many teams and acted as both President and Ice Scheduler for periods. He was instrumental in initiating the Stratford Christmas tournament in 1973 and also helped run the Stratford Minor Sports Hockey School for many years. As well, he was a part of the Stratford Culliton executive and was involved with transitioning the franchise from the Warriors to the Cullitons in the mid-1970s.
In his later years, he enjoyed woodworking, swimming at the Y and having coffee with his friends Barry and Dinny, amongst others. Many in his neighbourhood fondly remember stopping to talk to him as he sat on his porch whistling during the warmer months. As well, he continued to follow local hockey and would often be found over at the old Coliseum with his dog Barney.
He also loved spending time at the cottage he built. Playing Euchre was a favourite pastime for him there. He was also a founding member of the Barrow Bay and District Sport Fishing Association that helped to stock fish and rehabilitate the natural ecosystem of the area.
Earl will be deeply missed by his family and by many in the community for his friendly manner and selfless service as a volunteer.
A private family service will be held on Saturday, June 5, at 11 a.m. Those who wish to join the family from home can do so by following the view livestream link below Earl’s obituary on the funeral home website. Donations in his memory may be made to the YMCA of Stratford Perth, Stratford Perth Humane Society or the Heart and Stroke Foundation through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com