Longtime volunteer and senior advocate Teresa “Terry” Morocco Barton, 92, of Bristol, died in her home on Friday, Feb. 1, surrounded by family.
Barton was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Stanley “Buzz” Barton, and her grandson, Sean Barton.
“She worked tirelessly, and definitely will be missed here,” said Patricia Tomascak, director of the Bristol Senior Center. “She truly was a good person, I mean, her whole life was for the betterment of all people; you can see it through her teaching, and her continuing on to help- that’s rare, to find someone so dedicated to others.”
“Terry was a vital member of Department of Aging and the Senior Center,” said Tomascak. “She was a very involved senior, and in my mind, I think she was a catalyst for seniors always working to ensure they received the proper support and services they needed and deserved; that was always her main mission.”
Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu described Barton as “a lovely woman who volunteered for Bristol into her 90s.”
“Her generation believed in volunteerism and philanthropy and we would all be better off if we took a page from her book,” said Zoppo-Sassu. “The City was a better place because of her many contributions.”
Tomascak described Barton as “incredible,” and that she was “always there when you needed her.”
Barton was born on Sept., 10, 1926, the daughter of Alfred Morocco, originally of Lenola, Italy, and Pasqualine Battista Morocco.
Barton was educated through the Bristol school system before attending St. Joseph College, now known as the University of St. Joseph, in West Hartford. She graduated with the class of 1947 with her bachelor’s degree in English. She returned to St. Joseph College in 1971 to complete a master’s degree in special education. And later, Barton went on to complete her Sixth-Year Program degree in Special Education at Central Connecticut State University.
Barton retired in 1997 after a long career that was driven by her love of English. She was a reporter for The Hartford Times and The Waterbury Republican, before teaching at the St. Joseph School in Bristol, and 20 years of teaching special education at South Side School, also in Bristol.
Barton served on several boards and commissions, before stepping down in January 2019, due to health related issues.
She served as the president of Bristol Area Retired Teachers, as the board chair for the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut, and as a co-chair for the ARTC Glenn Moon Scholarship Fund.
She was also a member of Advocates for Bristol Seniors, Inc., the Bristol Senior Center Commission on Aging, the City of Bristol Transportation Committee, the City of Bristol Board of Library Directions, was a past president of The Chapman Beach Association, the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament, the Bristol Club, and the Plainville Area Cable Television Advisory Council.
Barton was also active with her alma mater, where she was a member of the Golden Dome Society, the Saint Catherine Society, served as a class agent, and served on several reunion committees.
When Barton wasn’t volunteering, she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren, collecting sea glass on the beach, reading, gardening, theatre, museums, and traveling.
In the summers, she spent time at her cottage in Westbrook, where her family had summered for the past 70 years. She was described as loving to entertain and to cook, which she often did by hosting lunch outings for her colleagues at the cottage.
Barton is survived by her sister Marianne Grace; her five children, Christopher Barton, Jan St. George, Michael Barton and his wife Elizabeth, Peter Barton and his wife Cheri, and Andrew Barton and his wife Mary; her eight grandchildren, Jennifer Barton Kelleher and her husband Christopher, Nicholas Barton, Alexander Barton, Catherine Barton, Beck St. George and Marc St. George, and Taylor and Angela Barton; as well as her two great grandchildren, Landon and Parks Kelleher.
A Mass of Christian burial was held on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at St. Gregory the Great Church in Bristol. A burial followed, and was held at St. Joseph Cemetery in Plainville. Tomascak, who attended the service, described it as being really nice, saying that “everyone loved her [Barton], she touched everyone. She had a great life, one to be proud of, and that’s special too.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.