The passing this past week of City Council member Gordon “Buzzy” Barton removes from our community a man who truly can be described as beloved by all who knew him.
Buzzy touched the lives of thousands of his fellow Lynn residents over the course of his nearly 71 years, from his days as a youth at Ingalls elementary, Eastern Junior High, and Lynn English ’72 (where he was an outstanding athlete) where he made lifelong friends; to his 28 years as a member of the Lynn Fire Department, where he was universally recognized by both his colleagues and the public for his outstanding performance (he served as president of Local 739 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, was named Firefighter of the Year in 1990, Union Man of the Year in 1991, and received the Box 41 Award in 1998); to his post-retirement work for the city (he served as a member of the Lynn Retirement Board and the Lynn Park Commission); to his highly-successful tenures as head coach of the English girls and boys basketball teams; to his six terms on the Lynn City Council from 2012-23.
In short, Buzzy’s life was marked by an incredibly diverse range of service to our city that spanned generations and that truly can be described as unequaled.
However, a recitation of those impressive accomplishments does not capture the depth of Buzzy’s devotion and dedication not only to his fellow Lynn residents, but also to all who met him.
Perhaps the best way of describing Buzzy Barton’s lifetime of kindness and thoughtfulness is this anecdote that we read in the Mass. Retirees Bulletin this past week:
Buzzy had wanted to donate his organs, but was told by his doctors that it was not possible because his cancer had spread. He then asked about donating his eyes — and a match was found for someone in need of them.
We know we join with all of our fellow residents in offering our condolences to Buzzy’s many family members and close friends upon the passing of this wonderful man.
May he rest in peace.