Madeline Jean Barton, born 3/2/2005 in Wilmington, N.C., passed away at Strong Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, February 8, surrounded by an incredible amount of love in that journey, just as she was in life.
The daughter of Thaddeus Barton of Naples, and Amy Stearns of Hagaman, NY, Madeline was an amazing young lady with myriad talents. She was a piano player with plans to play the organ at Trinity Church where she soon would have been a member. Most afternoons, the coat wasn't even off and she was at the piano playing Christmas music or patriotic tunes. She was a clarinet player in the Naples band and had just learned the bass clarinet that she would have played at the All -County concert on February 4 had she been feeling well. She was a member of the Pan Band at Naples and of Trinity Bells at Trinity Church.
At school, Madeline was a 6th grade student with an affinity for art, math, and computer tech. She was a member of the Safety Patrol and was an exemplar and role model to younger children in the student body. She would protect, console, and stand-up for all. Letters from students have been pouring in. "Maddie was a good friend." "She was a good role model," and "From now on I will go to school excited and curious to learn" are just some of the comments that have warmed our hearts.
In addition to her parents, Madeline is survived by her little brother Cayden Stearns, two wonderful cousins that were closer than cousins could possibly be – her BC/FF Skye and Kyle Chaapel whom she loved to pester and make give her hugs. Others are her wonderful Grammy Sherie & Poppy Mike Heins of Naples, Aunt "A-Nut" Vonnie & Uncle "Ricky Roo," grandparents Harold & Denise Weaver, and other aunts, uncles and cousins too numerous to list. Surrounded by an incredible amount of love….
Madeline was a farm girl that loved her ducks, chickens and goats with as much abandon as she loved video games, drawing and watching anime. She was such a fan of anime that she called herself Maddie~ Sama. In the summer, she could hardly be kept out of the water whether she was swimming or kayaking. She and her Dad would enjoy bike rides around town with stops for ice cream, or a peek into the library, or visits with people on the street. She was her father's sidekick – often cooking with him and hoping to be his sous-chef one day.
Full of life and energy and the craziness that makes a perfect tween, Madeline could do a 180 into a graceful and poised young lady. Just a few short days ago, she did a reading at the Martin Luther King, Jr. service at her church and on Christmas Eve she did the Advent Candle reading with her cousin and grammy.
Services will be held at Trinity Church on Sunday, February 12 with a visitation time at 2:00 and a service at 3:00. Food and fellowship will follow in the lower level of the church. Plans are in the works for a Mardi-Gras "March for Maddie" on her birthday in March. Watch Facebook for details.
Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to Trinity Federated Church, Naples Elementary School, the Naples Library, or the Naples Ambulance.