Robert "Bob" Barton, age 86 of Cottage Grove, passed away unexpectedly on August 2, 2023
Visitation will be 4-7 pm, Tuesday, August 8, 2023, at Kok Funeral Home, 7676 80th Street S., Cottage Grove. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 am, Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at The Church of St. Rita, 8694 - 80th Street S., Cottage Grove with visitation starting at 10 am until the time of service. The burial will take place at Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville.
Memorials may be directed to The Science Museum of Minnesota or The Church of St. Rita.
Robert was born December 14, 1936, in Superior, Wisconsin to Jesse and Amanda Barton. He graduated from Cathedral High School in 1955 and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in chemistry and math from Superior State University in 1959. While in college he became active in the ROTC program and entered active duty in the US Air Force and earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He studied at the University of Washington for one year to serve as a meteorologist at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. After earning his certificate to teach from the University of North Dakota he taught math and science classes in Warren, Minnesota.
Bob was united in marriage to the love of his life, Patricia Marek in 1963. He returned to UND and earned his master's degree in chemistry. With that degree he was hired by the 3M Company in Maplewood as a research chemist in August of 1966 and worked there until his retirement in 2002.
Bob loved being active in his children's lives whether it was coaching t-ball and baseball or masterfully building pinewood derby cars with his sons and grandsons. He had a lifetime passion for science education teaching kids to love science as well. Bob served as a volunteer at the Minnesota Science Museum for over 40 years.
He helped develop the 3M Visiting Wizards Program that prepared 3M'ers a script to go to their children's classrooms to promote the fun of science. The program expanded to 3M sites around the world, impacting thousands of kids through the years. The Wizard program brought him great joy.
He is a longtime, faithful member of the Church of St. Rita and the Knights of Columbus.
He is preceded in death by parents; 5 siblings. He is survived by his loving wife, Patricia "Paddy"; children Dan, Jim (Lisa), John (Sarahi), Dave (Thayon), Todd (Bridget), Kristin (Brian) Erickson; 13 grandchildren Alex, Hannah, Kaylie, Connor, Anna, Tyler, Aaron, Grace, Alyse, Max, Aubrey, Zachary, Camila.
LIVESTREAM INFORMATION: For those who would like to participate in Bob's service via livestream, you can watch the service on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at 11:00 am. It can be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of this page and click "LIVESTREAM" to begin. Please leave a message of support in our Tribute Wall to let the family know you were able to watch the service. If you are having troubles with the Livestream, the service will be available to watch later in the day.