West Hawaii Today
Notice #: 0001418624-01
Funeral Notices

MARION MERRY ATHEARN BARTON Marion “Merry” Athearn Barton, a vibrant personality known for her sense of adventure, hospitality and charisma, passed away peacefully after a year long battle with colon cancer on May 23, 2023 in San Rafael, CA. Born on March 4, 1936, in Berkeley, CA., Merry’s life was an extraordinary journey that took her across continents, through diverse cultures and languages, and into the hearts of many. She spent her lifetime in beautiful and exotic localities, including New Caledonia, Coral Cables, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Los Angeles, Orinda, Kailua, Annapolis, and ultimately Waimea and San Rafael. Merry was first and foremost a devoted mother and wife. She poured her heart into nurturing her home and family. Her dedication and care were the bedrock upon which her children thrived and the springboard from which she later propelled herself into her career. Merry established a successful travel business in Honolulu, marrying her love for exploration and people, and creating unforgettable experiences for her clients. Beyond her career, Merry was a passionate volunteer for the Junior League, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hodge Podge Thrift Shop (Hospice), and the St. James Church Thrift Shop. Her father’s career with PanAm led her in later life to be involved with PanAm reunions throughout the world. Merry’s knack for entertaining was legendary. Whether it was an intimate dinner, a grand party, or a large extended family gathering, she had an uncanny ability to transform any event into an unforgettable celebration of joy. Merry is survived by her loving spouse of 25 years, John Olaf Barton, her three cherished children, Debby Hu, Rick Herb, and Katy Whitman, and step-children Vanessa MacIlwaine and James Barton. She was beloved “Nani” to ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held at St. James Church in Waimea, HI. on July 7, 2023 at 3:30pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. James Church Thrift Shop and St. James Church Community Meals (St. James Church, 65-1237 Kawaihae Road, Waimea, HI. 96743) in memory of Marion “Merry’ Athearn Barton.