Our beloved Joshua Shane Barton made his transition back home on Thursday, June 27th, 2019, after a courageous battle with mental illness.
Joshua was born January 15th, 1979 in Canton, OH. His sense of wonderment with nature was amazing, and he knew more species of birds and beasts as a child than most adults do. He had a special gift with animals, and had considered getting a degree in Zoology. Joshua loved to fish, and some of his favorite memories were of spending time with his grandparents at Seneca Lake, staying at their cabin, spending endless days boating and fishing. He was also an accomplished musician who played strictly by ear. He loved to garden, and his tomatoes were the best around Ohio. Cooking was another love for him, and he could whip up the most delectable meals. His intelligence was incredible; while he was less than stellar in school, he could stroll through the living room when the show Jeopardy was on, and casually answer the current question, absolutely correctly.
Beautiful, bright, wickedly witty, he managed to keep his sense of humor despite the torment going on inside him. He always championed the underdog, two-legged and four-legged, no matter what walk of life they came from. He tried so hard to live in a world that didn’t make sense to him; in a world where mental illness is still stigmatized and is woefully under-addressed.
Grandparents Dorotha Mae (Whitten, Nutter) Barton, James A. Barton, Richard James Stewart, and JoAnn Stewart were all there to greet Joshua, as well as his stepfather Russell Ensign. His loving family will sorely miss him and will always hold him in our hearts: His mother, Shannon Ensign-Spillios (Pete Spillios), father, Richard Stewart (Becky), sisters Courtney Stables (Brian), Ehrin Heban, Holly Ensign-Reese, Heather Lacy (Bryan), and special brothers Jason Reese and Daniel Heban; stepbrothers Brentley and Jason Knaus, stepsisters Rachel and Samantha Ralston, as well as a host of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. A special note of love and gratitude to Joshua’s dear friends: Marshall Walk, Mike Teagle, Angie Cacioppo, Kristin Coon, and Laura Molnar; who saw through the veil, and loved him, believed in him, and saw his true colors. May you all be richly blessed.
To honor Joshua, let us lift our voices to address and treat mental illness, giving hope and help to these troubled souls, guiding them to live peaceful, centered and joyous lives; letting them know they MATTER.
*Son of Shannon Ensign-Spillios