More than anything, Jack Barton liked to spend time at his family cabin in Berks County, his wife said.
Gertraude Barton explained that when her husband bought the cabin, it was only an A-frame shell with no electricity or running water. But it didn't matter, she said.
"He always loved the mountains," she said. "That's where he was the happiest."
Barton, a York native, made his mark on his hometown, too. He served on the city council and spearheaded public projects, including the Memorial Park Ice Rink, Gertraude Barton said.
"He was always willing to help," she said.
Jack Barton died on Nov. 5. He was 89.
Barton graduated from William Penn Senior High School in 1941, and was soon drafted into the U.S. Army. He served in North Africa and Europe from 1943 to 1945 before coming home and getting his degree from Dickinson College.
He graduated from Dickinson's law school in 1953. Barton opened his own practice a year later, his wife said.
Yet it's his public service contributions that most remember.
Barton served for six years on the York City Council in the 1950s, Gertraude Barton said, and was the driving force behind the city ice rink. He thought of it while waiting for a haircut at the old barber shop in the Yorktowne Hotel, she said, after he read about a similar rink in Detroit.
"At that time everybody worked
Barton also served as York County's chief public defender, York County solicitor, recorder of deeds and as a district judge for 14 years, Gertraude Barton said.
He retired in 2007, closing his law office on East Market Street.
"They kind of made him retire," his wife said. "It was hard to slow him down."
Jack Barton's daughter, Suzan, said her father dabbled in everything from astronomy to woodworking. He loved to travel, especially to that little cabin.
Eventually, he added electricity and running water, she said, and he built a deck and a gazebo out back, too.
"He liked to try things, and he'd usually figure things out," she said. "I'm extremely proud of him."