Obituaries » Daniel Chester "Dan" Barto

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Daniel Chester "Dan" Barto

December 2, 1952 - May 20, 2019

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Dan, Daniel Chester Barto, was born on December 2, 1952 to Fred and Donna Barto of Fort Wayne Indiana, who preceded him in death.  He had two older siblings, Junior & Linda, who also preceded him in death.  As the youngest child, his father called him ‘The Caboose’.  Since Dan was born with a wanderlust, his father said he was always ‘motoring off’ which proved somewhat prophetic as Dan grew.

He graduated from Northside High School in 1971, where he played baseball, and briefly attended Indiana Perdue University studying forestry.
He worked at International Harvester on the assembly line until the plant closed in 1983.  Dan moved to Houston Texas to begin his truck driving career, mostly in flatbed and heavy haul which he did for various companies until late 2017.
He delivered in 48 states, Canada, and Mexico through the years, and hauled equipment, bee hives, houses, and many interesting loads which he enjoyed strapping down, taking great pride in his work.
Dan met and fell in love with a young waitress (who shared his momma’s name) at the Petro Truck Stop, in Elkton Maryland, on Valentine’s Day in 1986.  They were married March 20, 1986 and had a working honeymoon that took them across the country and back to Niagara Falls, New York.  He called her his ‘Super Special DonnaLynn’.
He became an instant daddy of 4 year old Sarah, who described him as having ‘googly eyes and a flat head’ and a son, Mason Daniel, was born to the couple the following March.
Through the years, Dan enjoyed watching (Cincinnati Reds) and playing baseball on a senior league as catcher up until, at age 55, when he tore his rotator cuff throwing to 2nd to prevent a stolen base.  He was an avid runner, running in the many states he was driving through, and competed in a 15k in 2003.  He continued to run, even after a total hip replacement in 2013 and after his cancer diagnosis in 2018.
Dan loved the outdoors and hard work.  Camping was a favorite vacation activity which Dan & Donna did often until finally purchasing 134.16 acres of loblolly pine forest near Rustburg, Virginia in 2016 where they ‘camped’ for 6 months.

Dan grew up attending Concordia Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN and was baptized at a young age.  His faith flourished in his last year’s and after he was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic colon cancer, he found faith and great comfort in his God and Lord Jesus Christ.  He put his life in God’s hands and never wavered, giving thanks and praise continually despite excruciating pain and illness.  His last words were to his God thanking Him and praying for peace, which God graciously answered by receiving Dan home on May 20, 2019.

Dan is survived by his wife of 33 years, Donna Lynn; son, Mason Daniel Barto of Durham, NC; daughter, Sarah Karyn Bradley (Gary) of Glossop Derbeshire, England, and grandchildren, Julian, Madeline, and Amelia; and beloved cousins, Kathy Alexander-Miller (Max) of Fort Wayne, IN and Lanny Wilt of Wolflake, IN.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

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