W. Bailey Barton was born on October 7, 1938 to William Oscar and Hazel Estelle Barton in Houston, Texas. He attended public school in Houston and graduated from Milby High School in 1958. He continued his higher education at Abilene Christian College and Texas Tech University where he received dual degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Bailey accepted Christ into his life at an early age and was a leader in his church from childhood to the date of his death on March 22, 2012. He served many roles as a member of the church of Christ, including deacon, elder, Sunday School teacher, and young married couples leader.
Bailey Barton married Mary Sue Hibbs on August 29, 1959, and to that union four boys were born: Joel William, Brit Cole, Darrin Lane, and Jason Wesley Barton. Fatherhood was an important part of his life. He was most proud of the time he spent with his boys, including during law school where he juggled fatherhood, his career, and his church work. Bailey graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio with a Juris Doctor in Law in 1980.
Before Bailey became a lawyer, his greatest professional accomplishment was as a chemical engineer. He worked for DuPont and Borden, Inc. At Borden he became a Corporate Vice-President for Health, Safety and Environment. After more than twenty-five years as a chemical engineer, Bailey retired, returned to his beloved Texas, and he settled in San Marcos, Texas where he opened a successful elder law practice.
After the death of his wife Sue in 2000, Bailey married Sundra Spears. They shared their lives, their law practice, and an extended family that crosses oceans, races, and cultures. Their joy, when not practicing law and caring for the seniors in central Texas, focused on world travel. They met many people who are friends today. They shared the love of the family and friends they brought into the marriage and met together.
Bailey served his church and his community. He held board positions on the Edwards Aquifer Authority, Area Agency on Aging, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Rotary Club of San Marcos, and Hays County Bar Association. His achievements in law included teaching health care courses at Texas State University.
Never willing to retire completely, Bailey became a member of the Hill Country Barbershop Chorus of New Braunfels. To no one's surprise, he sang bass.
Bailey is survived by his wife, Judge Sundra Spears, four sons, Joel (Lori), Britt, Darrin, and Jason (Elizabeth). Newer generations of Bartons include his grandchildren and great-grandchild Erin Michelle and Christopher Phillips, Elana Ann Barton, Alan William Barton, Kirstie Nicole Barton, Cole Ricky Barton, Ryan William Barton, Ethan Wesley Barton, and his great-grandson, Jaden Joseph Wesley Phillips. His niece Jamie Moore and great-nephew Casey Lee Vaught survive him.
Bailey claimed a host of extended family members whose lives he touched. Melanie Ann Barton, Wes and Lori Wyatt, Melissa and Chris Scott, Becky and Jared Shirley, Toussaint and Barbara Barnes and their daughter Sanaa Barnes, Grenalda Spears and her son Dominic Spears; his sisters-in-law Betty Barnes Miles (Charles); Sherley Spears and her daughter Britt Spears, Leatha Spears, Anita D. Bryant and the Gaines Family, Jackye Francis, Mary Bowers and the traveling group, the Hibbs Family, the Litvaks, the Barnards, and Northland Church of Christ.
His friends and colleagues are too numerous to mention. Each knows how much Bailey loved them, and they know that omitting their names is not meant as a slight. He loved so many.
The family will receive friends Sunday, March 25 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Thomason Funeral Home, 2001 Ranch Road 12, San Marcos, TX 78666. Funeral services will be Monday, March 26, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at University Church of Christ. Interment will follow at San Marcos Cemetery.