Tributes to community manager who died at 45

Karl Barton and fiancee Kathryn Marsh on holiday in France
Karl Barton and fiancee Kathryn Marsh on holiday in France
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THE funeral will be held in Sheffield tomorrow (Friday) of community manager and councillor Karl Barton who died at the age of 45.

Karl, who suffered a fatal aneurysm in his heart, died in the arms of financee Kathyrn Marsh months before they were due to be married.

Paramedics tried to revive him at his home in Kiveton but he was dead on arrival at Rotherham Hospital.

He was manager of Woodthorpe Development Trust in Sheffield and a Labour councillor for Wales in Rotherham.

He has a daughter, Connie, aged 11, his father is former Sheffield Labour Euro-MP and ex-city councillor Roger Barton and his mother is Labour city councillor Joan Barton.

Kathryn, aged 49, who runs the Houseboat Hotels in Victoria Quays, Sheffield’s canal basin, said Karl had shouted to her that he had a terrible pain in his chest. As he struggled, he said: “Tell Connie I love her”.

Kathryn said: “From the moment we met, I could instantly say that Karl was a wonderful, exceptional person and so different to anyone I had ever met before. As our love has grown and deepened, I have never been proved wrong.”

She said he “touched so many lives in such positive ways. He taught me never to be judgmental and always to look for the best in people.

“Karl loved life, lived it to the maximum, loved a challenge and wasn’t scared to tread the unknown. He had vision and was an inspiration.

“Anyone who met him was touched by his presence and would never forget him. Karl was my absolute rock and strength.”

Kathryn and Karl were due to be married at Wortley Hall in October in a double wedding with Kathryn’s eldest daughter, Katie, and her fiancee Jamie Miller.

Karl’s brother, Scott Barton, of Yellow Bus Events, said: “This has come as a massive shock. It is very tragic that he died so young.”

Deputy manager of Woodthorpe Development Trust Karen Dineen said: “We’re absolutely gutted. He has left a huge gap in the trust.”

A litter-pick being organised by the trust and Woodthorpe Primary School around the estate has been called off because of tomorrow’s funeral, which is at Grenoside crematorium at 11am.

The servicewill be followed by drinks at Wortley Hall from 1pm.