FEATURED EMPLOYEE: Steve Barton – Senior Construction Technician, Tinkerer, Consummate Family Man
Each of us are driven by our own unique set of circumstances, talents, and passions. For Steve Barton, becoming a father at a young age shaped his future – and enriched his life – in profound ways.
During high school this self-described “tinkerer” worked summers at a reinforced concrete pipe factory. Steve enjoyed working with his hands and would often take things apart to see how they worked. He knew early on that he didn’t belong in an office.
“My grandfather was a mechanical engineer and my father was always working on cars growing up,” said Steve. “My first car was an ’85 Pontiac Fierro two-seater. The clutch was out on the transmission; my Dad said if you can fix it, you can have the car. It only took me two tries to fix it.”
Steve’s plan was to graduate high school, enlist in the military, and pilot F-16 and combat planes. But life rarely follows a straight line.
Soon after graduation, and just weeks after taking the military entrance test, he learned that he was going to be a father. A dedicated family man from the very start, he opted to take a concrete testing job close to home.
The better part of the next decade was dedicated to raising his young family and gaining on-the-job experience. As his children grew, Steve transitioned into surveying work, and finished his associates degree during night classes. No easy feat.
Today, Steve has 8 children, 2 grandchildren, and is the proud patriarch of a beautiful, busy, blended family. His kids’ ages run the gamut: 3, 6, 4 teenagers, and 2 twenty-somethings. To hear him tell it, there’s never a dull moment.
As a Senior Construction Technician, there’s plenty of action on the career front as well.
“I’m somewhat of a lone wolf; every day on the job is different, which I love,” said Steve. “I may only go into the office roughly 10 times a year … my truck is my mobile office!”
If you think a full family and work life is where this story ends, you’d be wrong. Two years ago Steve revived his youthful desire to help others and serve his community – and became a volunteer firefighter.
“I heard that the local department was accepting new people and decided to sign up,” Steve admitted. “The job includes running into burning buildings, pulling people out of car wrecks, and other rescue procedures.”
“I thrive on adventure. My other hobbies like hunting, fishing, and camping are all thrilling, but also help balance out the chaos of everyday life.”
Altruism and adventure is certainly a cornerstone of the Barton family. Steve’s wife, Michelle, is a Nurse Practitioner at the local Emergency Department – and is just a few classes away from completing her doctorate. One of his sons is currently in school for mechanical design engineering.
There’s no doubt the charitable, tinkering, adventurous Barton gene will be passed on to generations to come.