On Monday, August 26, 2019, Greg Barton, husband and father, passed away at the age of 73 from complications of Alzheimer's.
Greg was born July 14, 1946 in Denver, Colorado. He spent his childhood in California playing youth sports. He enjoyed all sports, but excelled on the baseball and football fields. After high school he continued playing football, first at Long Beach City College, where he led the team to an undefeated national championship in 1964 and victories in the 1964 Junior Rose Bowl and the 1965 Prune Bowl; then at the University of Tulsa, where he was named all-conference as a junior in 1966. His professional football career began in 1968 when he was drafted to play in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. Greg then headed north to Canada to play in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts and it was there he met his wife, Heather. Together they moved to Oregon so he could play in the newly formed WFL for the Portland Storm. After settling in the area, they raised four daughters, Carrie, Tiffany, Janelle and Brittany and one son, Taylor together.
Greg's greatest passion was coaching youth sports. He volunteered as a coach in Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball for many years before his own children were old enough to play. Many fondly remember the 1977 Raleigh Hills baseball team that almost made it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Raleigh Hills Little League was a staple for Greg, and many recall the wooden Fungo bat he used to bring to practice. He and his family spent many wonderful years under the lights at Alpenrose on Friday nights followed by pizza at Round Table or Pietro's. He was fortunate enough to be able to make his passion his livelihood and mentored and coached football over the years through his work at Jesuit, Franklin, Lincoln, Valley Catholic, Sandy and Wilsonville High Schools. He created and instituted the Junior Sports Program at the Multnomah Athletic Club, where he worked for over 20 years. Greg was a visionary when it came to the intersection of sports and business and providing opportunities for youth sports of all kinds. He reached so many players though his Great 48 Basketball Tournaments, Barton Football Academy (formerly Air Attack) and Next Step College Recruiting. Greg was generous with his time. A "quick" lunch meeting with Greg, usually lasted several hours at one of his favorite "offices" such as Danny Woo's, Izzy's, Village Inn or Shari's. He influenced the lives of countless young athletes and promoted fundamentals, class and character above anything else.
On the home front, he was an avid lover of "oldies" music and had an impressive record collection that he loved to share with friends. He had a signature "magic trick" he performed for his kids and grandkids and billed himself as "The Great Bartonovich." Greg loved to lay by the backyard pool in the sun for hours despite the fact that he always ended up red as a lobster. At Halloween his signature carving style was carving people's names into the mouth of pumpkins. He was a fixture at his children and grandchildren's events over the years, always arriving early with his video camera. He captured many memories for the family which we are eternally grateful for.
Greg was a great man who left a tremendous legacy for himself and his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, Heather, in March of this year. He is survived by his children, Carrie, Tiffany, Taylor, Janelle and Brittany; their spouses Marcus, Chris, Jessica, Ryan and Rodney; and his grandchildren, Carson, Mason, Kennidy, Tyler, Emerson, Easton, Bryn, Lauren, Brant, McKale, Jamison and Cade.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, November 17, 2019, at Beaverton High School. Please join us to celebrate, share, remember and reminisce how Greg touched our lives. Pizza and donuts will be served for all to enjoy as these were two of Greg's favorite treats.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Raleigh Hills Little League or Beaverton High School Athletics.
You will be missed Coach! You will be missed Papa Bear! You will be missed Dad!
To send flowers to Gregory's family, please visit our floral section.