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‘Life is good’

BHBL teacher and Guilderland resident remembered as fountain of positivity

Beloved teacher Richard Barton, who taught in Burnt Hills Ballston Lake’s Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School, passed away on July 16. To everybody he knew, Barton was a lover of life and always had a smile. He is pictured here with a card signed by over 700 middle school students. Submitted photo.

Beloved teacher Richard Barton, who taught in Burnt Hills Ballston Lake’s Richard H. O’Rourke Middle School, passed away on July 16. To everybody he knew, Barton was a lover of life and always had a smile. He is pictured here with a card signed by over 700 middle school students. Submitted photo.

— Many of Barton’s journal entries, especially more recent ones, end with the same four words: “Remember, life is good!”

Christine Barton said even as her husband’s health was fading, he never wanted to give up teaching.

“He was a legacy in a lot of different ways, not only as a teacher, he was a fabulous teacher … he cared about the kids first and everything else took a back seat,” said Kane.

In a letter sent home to middle school students and parents Kane said in part, “Richard was dedicated both to his family in Guilderland and his school ‘family’ at O’Rourke. He was a talented, innovative and dedicated teacher, who believed in the talents of all of his students. He was quick with a smile, a whistle and greeting for everyone he came in contact with.”

Kane also said in the letter that the school would be available to provide support to students who are dealing with the loss of Barton.

In addition to Christine, Barton is survived by his daughter Sarah and sisters Nancy Franczyk, Joanne Kelty, Donna Barton and Susie (Bill) Coman.

A celebration of Barton’s life was held Saturday, July 21. The family said anyone wishing to honor his spirit could support the Hope Club, 1 Penny Lane, Latham, NY 12110.

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