Robert “Bob” Marion Barton lived a long, remarkable life and passed away at the age of 98 on August 14, 2022. Born at home in Pana, Illinois, on May 18, 1924, he moved with his family as a young boy to California, settling in the San Jose area. Bob attended San Jose High School and graduated from San Jose State University with a journalism degree. While at San Jose State, he met the love of his life, Beverly Suess. They married in 1947 and lived a rich life filled with family and friends, while he launched his career, first at the San Jose Mercury News, and then at his own advertising and public relations agency.
In the early 1960s, doctors in the Los Gatos area asked him to head the development of a new hospital. Bob organized and served as the founding president of Good Samaritan Hospital, which opened in 1965. After opening Good Samaritan Hospital, Bob also developed Methodist Hospital of Sacramento and Madera Community Hospital, and consulted with hospital expansion programs throughout the western United States. He also developed 13 nonprofit retirement homes in Illinois, Montana and California. Bob served as a board member of Samaritan Medical Center (SMC) for 34 years, eight as president. Adjacent to Good Samaritan Hospital, SMC includes offices for Stanford doctors and the Stanford University Cancer Center.
Bob, Bev and their family lived in San Jose, Rocklin and Moraga, and after the children were grown, he and Bev moved to Aptos in 1981 and then Carmel in 2000. Bob was always active in the communities where he lived and was a Rotarian for 25 years. He was an elder at The First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a good-spirited and intelligent man who loved music and had a great singing voice. He had a love of history, travel and house projects. The Optimist’s Creed hung in the house while his children grew up and he practiced the tenets every day, bringing a bit of joy to everyone who was lucky enough to be around him.
Bob is survived by his three daughters Randall (and Bruce) Boyer; Sally (and Mark Price) Barton; and Blair; son, Brent (and Marda) Barton; and his sister-in-law, Gloria Loudon Roberts. He also leaves behind eight adoring granddaughters, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by Beverly in 2015 and his grandson Tyler Barton in 2017.
A celebration of life for Bob will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2 pm, at the First Presbyterian Church of Monterey. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to The Monterey Food Bank, the Salvation Army, or your own community’s local food bank.