Dr. Berton Donald Barrington (“Bert”) passed away on January 7, 2020 in Rochester, MN due to complications from a stroke. He was born on September 2, 1944 in Butte, MT and spent most of his formative years in Billings, where he graduated from Billings High School (West). He attended MIT in Boston, where he became captain of the crew team and graduated with a degree in computer science in 1966. While at MIT, he hitchhiked to Washington, D.C. so he could stand along the funeral route for President John F. Kennedy, a poignant moment for Bert and a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. After MIT, he moved to Minneapolis to attend medical school and this is where he met the love of his life, Pat Adams. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1970. He did his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and specialized in Ophthalmology. He and his young family then moved to Kaduna, Nigeria for three months so he could participate in a program similar to doctors without borders that was managed by the Mayo Clinic.
He was a skillful surgeon and worked as an eye doctor for nearly 50 years, primarily in Owatonna, Faribault, Waseca and Mankato. Rather than retiring at 65 years old, he chose to keep working as an eye doc at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis so he could give back to the community, our military veterans and the country he so loved.
He was wicked smart, old-school-tough, honest, kind and generous with his time and money to family, friends and strangers. He was also physically active throughout his life and loved biking, running, hiking, water skiing, snow skiing, tennis and golf and spending time with his wife, kids and grandkids. He traveled extensively during his lifetime, visiting all 50 states in the USA, 9 of the 10 Canadian provinces, England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, France, Australia and New Zealand. He especially loved Montana, Wyoming and the Canadian Rockies. Glacier, Yellowstone, Waterton Lakes and Banff National Parks were often the destinations for our many wonderful family trips. His ashes will be scattered along the Beartooth Highway in Montana, the most scenic drive in America according to Bert and Charles Kuralt. His favorite food, beer and drink were jelly bismarcks, Moose Drool and rusty nails, respectively.
He is preceded in death by his mother Elisabeth Bakos (nee Leonard) and his father Donald Blewett. He is survived by his loving wife Pat Barrington (nee Adams); son Scott Leonard Barrington (wife Cyndi); daughter Nicole Colmark Atkinson (husband John); grandchildren Blake Barrington, Piper Barrington, Gage Atkinson, Chance Atkinson, Rio Atkinson and Parker Montgomery; his sister Barbara Johnson (husband Jim); brother Charles Douglas Blewett (wife Meg); cousin Albert Reeve Farrington and many other family and friends.
There will be a celebration of life from 11 am to 2 pm on January 26 at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater, MN 55082. Food will be served and there will be an open mic beginning at noon for anyone who would like to share a funny story or lighthearted moment they shared with Bert.
No flowers. Instead, please consider making a gift in Bert’s memory to the Khan Academy at www.khanacademy.org/donate
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