An icon in the Whitley County area, known to many as, “Dr. Don,” will be celebrated and remembered Thursday.
The funeral for Dr. Donald C. Barton, who died Saturday at age 83, will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Grace on the Hill United Methodist Church in Corbin.
Visitation with the family will begin at 3 p.m. at the church.
Barton practiced medicine for almost 40 years beginning in 1960. His practice included a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967-68 during which he served as a company commander for a medical battalion of the U.S. Army’s 1st Air Calvary.
Barton was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal for his actions.
Upon returning to the United States and being discharged from the Army, Barton became a family practice physician, retiring in June 2000.
Jerry Croley of Croley Funeral Home, said during the late 60s and into the 70s, the funeral home ran an ambulance service and regularly transported patients to be seen by Barton.
“He was very kind, compassionate and very sincere with his patients,” Croley said of Barton. “He really tried to help them.”
Suzie Barton Razmus, Barton’s niece, said he was a big influence on her after her father, Harold, died.
“His advice, his funny stories and his laugh,” Razmus said when asked what she would miss most about her uncle.
“He was a force. He was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known,” she said.
Razmus said Barton showed the same love and dedication to his community as he did his family and patients.
“He sacrificed a lot of time making this community a better place,” Razmus said.
Barton served as a Corbin City Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem from 1969-1976.
Barton was named to the GOP Hall of Fame in 1997.
In addition, Barton was a Shriner, and a member of the Tri-County Elks Lodge.
Barton served as president of the Kentucky Medical Association from 1987-1988 and served as a delegate to the American Medical Association for 20 years.
In 1991, Barton was named the AMA, “Doctor of the Year.”
Barton was one of 10 physicians in the nation to serve on the Reagan-Bush National Advisory Commission between 1980 and 1988.
Barton retired from practice in 2000
“He was highly respected in the medical community and the political community. His impact will last a long time,” Razmus said. “His loss will be felt, deeply.”
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said Barton was among a group of men that could frequently be found eating lunch at the old Dixie Café.
“He was always around people,” McBurney said. “He was just a people person.”
“He enjoyed life to the fullest.”
Barton is survived by his wife, Joan, their four children: Donna Vance, Becky Myers, Toni Alton and David Barton, nine grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to a charity of the individual/group’s choice.