Culture In Memoriam

Milford Mourns Loss of Longtime City Employee

22By Terry Rogers

On Thursday, June G. Barto, who was employed as a secretary for the City of Milford for 38 years, passed away at the age of 86. During the time she worked at the city, she was also a teacher’s assistant for Milford School District.

“June was one of my dearest friends, I just loved that woman,” said Sharon Bailey who taught Kindergarten at Banneker with Mrs. Barto. “She was a funny, wonderful woman who was dedicated to many causes. She was always positive and up for a challenge. There was nothing she thought she couldn’t do. Even though she had many health issues over the years, she always overcame them.” Mrs. Bailey said that Mrs. Barto was well-respected by everyone she came in contact with from the Milford Housing Development Corporation to the Friends of the Milford Library.

Mrs. Barto was born the daughter of Christopher M. and Minnie V. Goldey on June 24, 1929 in West Grove, Pennsylvania. She was raised in nearby Oxford and graduated from Oxford High School in 1947. She attended Goldey Beacom College and worked for a short-time at the DuPont Experimental Station, followed by a position at the law offices of H. Albert Young. After her marriage to Richard “Dick” Barto, she moved to Milford, becoming an official “downstater.”

Until the birth of her first child, Mrs. Barto worked in the Radiology Department of Milford Memorial Hospital. She accepted the position as secretary to Milford City Council and held that position for more than 38 years. Mrs. Barto was a founding member of the Milford Housing Development Corporation as she was a longtime advocate for providing affordable housing to people with low incomes. She was the first recipient of the Frank Lucia Award and she was an active member of the Avenue United Methodist Church.

“When I was appointed City Clerk back in 1997, I really knew very little about the job,” said Terri Hudson, City Clerk. “But June Barto had been council secretary for over 30 years which made me feel a lot more at ease. She was so supportive and always available to help me solve a problem. But she was the same way with every single person that came in contact with her. I was always so impressed by the dignity she brought with everything she said and did. She was a humble mentor in so many ways.”

Mrs. Barto was preceded in death by her husband and her oldest son, Michael. She is survived by two daughters, Michele Winn and her husband, Jack, and Melissa Spencer, and her husband, Art, both of Newark. She is also survived by a son, Christopher Barto of Dallas, Texas and a daughter-in-law, Sharon Barto of Parsonburg, Maryland. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and another great-grandchild due at around Christmas.

“Family was very, very important to June,” Mrs. Bailey said. “She adored her family and was always doing something for them. Even though she had a large family with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, last year she was still buying Christmas gifts for each of them. She was a letter writer, something so few people do now. She wrote notes and letters all the time. She kept in contact with many of her relatives over the years, even though her family was very large.”

Mrs. Bailey remembered that Mayor Bryan Shupe was in her Kindergarten class at the same time Mrs. Barto was her assistant. “When June found out that Bryan was being sworn in, she called me,” Mrs. Bailey said. “She said, ‘Sharon, we have to go to his swearing in.’ I told her that I didn’t really think we should go, but she insisted that, as his Kindergarten teachers, we needed to be there in support, and we both were in the audience when Bryan was sworn in as mayor.”

In addition to her family, Mrs. Barto enjoyed a large circle of friends who rendered her support throughout her lifetime and she enjoyed spending time with them. Services were held Monday, November 23 at the Avenue United Methodist Church with burial in the Milford Community Cemetery on North Walnut Street.

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