Cover photo for William Barton's Obituary
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1939 William 2023

William Barton

January 29, 1939 — September 28, 2023

 

 

William R Barton Jr (Bart) a true Renaissance man; husband, father, athlete, coach, mentor & artist left us too soon on Sept. 28 2023. His 84 years were marked with numerous feats and accomplishments, although he would say the deeds of his athletes were more important.

As a youngster he discovered the pool and won numerous swimming and diving awards. He flourished under the guidance of Doc Barton, and in his college years, Doc Counsilman at Indiana University. It is from these men he intrinsically learned the value of mentorship, and how it can transform the lives of athletes. At IU he was an eleven time All-American and a National AAU Champion, as well as setting World Records in butterfly and Individual Medley. He was also an élite diver, who had the choice of the top diving school at the time (Michigan) or top swimming (Indiana), with full ride scholarships to either. He chose swimming, continuing after University to swim in open water marathons all over the world. Including one during his honeymoon. He began his coaching career at Pinecrest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Diving),  he went on to coach at Florida State University (Swimming & Diving), Cornell University (Swimming), Duke University (Swimming & Diving), The Mississauga Aquatic Club (Swimming) (Ontario, Canada), and The University of Lethbridge (Swimming) (Alberta, Canada). He finally settled in Corpus Christi, TX where he founded (with his daughter Andra) Coastal Bend Swimming, later to be called Coastal Bend All Stars.

Throughout this time he participated in the careers of Olympians, World Champions, National Champions and myriad other athletes. To him, though, bettering oneself and improvement were the most important, and he took just as much pride in the age group swimmer earning a best time as he did the International athletes setting records. He welcomed many athletes to share his home when they needed help, as was done for him in similar circumstances. 

Many who knew him had heard his stories about Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan) and training Flipper (all true). Those welcomed into his home would have seen the multitude of books, the extensive art collection, and every gadget one could buy. Over the last several years he had rediscovered his passion for art, converting a room in his home and creating wonderful sketches and paintings. His interests were varied and given the same zeal as the rest of his life. 

Bart touched many lives, in so many ways. His vitality and vigor will be missed, most especially by his treasured wife Inta, who shared in his journey for 58 loving years, daughters Andra (Zaragoza) & Krista (Charles)(River), grandchild Liebe (Baltazar), sister Donna (Jim) and brother John. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Maxine.

A Celebration of Life will be be held at the Saltwater Pavilion on Rockport Beach (Rockport, TX) on Oct 29, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. Donations can be made to : gofundme.com/in-memory-of-bill-barton-bart

 

 

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