Richard Barto Jr. age 90, of Chelsea, MI passed away at Chelsea Retirement Community on March 31, 2023. He was the son of the late Richard Barto Sr. and the late Marie DeMars. Richard grew up in Detroit. He was a graduate of Cass Technical High School and the Lawrence Institute of Technology in Southfield. In high school he had a dance band and in college he enjoyed membership in the Kappa Sigma Kappa fraternity.

Following college, he married Anne Newell in 1954 in Bloomfield Hills. In 1962, he married Karla Bea (Walton) Koppelman in Detroit. They met at Arthur Murray Dance Studios where his love for music continued. After Karla’s passing in 1981, he became an active parishioner of the Roman Catholic Church. Lastly, in 1982, Richard married Jean Marian Myers in Farmington Hills, MI.

Growing up in an automotive family, he worked for the Ternstedt Division of General Motors, followed by Fisher Body Division, and the Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Group in the body engineering department. In 1988, Richard retired from General Motors after 30 years. He then joined Thiem Corporation as a supplier’s representative, specializing in paints and sealers for a brief period.

Jean and Richard moved to Fairfax, VA in 1989. There he learned to square dance so well that he became an instructor. He also fulfilled a long-held dream of becoming a ham radio operator, an interest that lasted throughout his life. Missing northern Michigan, Richard and Jean moved to a home in Port of Old Mission in the woods outside Traverse City in 2002. He loved his long walks with his favorite dog, Tess. He was actively involved with the Kiwanis Club of Grand Traverse Bay and went on to become its president. He also belonged to the Elks Lodge No. 323.

With concerns for Jean’s health, they decided to move to Chelsea Retirement Community in Chelsea, MI in 2010.

Richard is survived by his children and their spouses, Jill and her husband John Anderson, Laurie Shappee and her husband Bill Sobolewski, Susan and her husband Michael Loeffler, and John and his wife Debbie Barto. He also has eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

A graveside service will take place Friday, April 7, 2023 at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Dryden, MI.

Arrangements were entrusted to Muir Brothers Funeral Home, 225 N. Main Street, Imlay City, MI.

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