John William Barth, 68, passed away on Thursday, July 22, at home surrounded by his family.
John was born on April 29, 1953, in Howard Lake, Minnesota, to Albert and Margaret Barth. John loved recounting stories of his childhood growing up on the family farm and in town with his ten brothers and sisters. It was there that John also met the love of his life when Marjorie Montgomery moved into the neighborhood. They spent many an evening doing loon calls back and forth across their backyards.
John was a 1971 graduate of Howard Lake High School. He was a four-sport all-conference athlete, captain of the basketball team, quarterback and co-captain of the football team, was involved in theater, and competed in state Speech competitions. John won numerous awards and accolades including, athlete of the year and runner-up Mr. Minnesota. Throughout it all, he always managed to find time to spend with the head cheerleader, Marjorie.
John attended and played basketball at St. Cloud State University and graduated in 1975 with a degree in English Education. Young and in love, John married Marjorie on September 8, 1973.
After college John and Marjorie eventually moved to Elk River, Minnesota, where John began teaching English at Elk River High School. John always managed to stay busy running drivers ed, teaching, coaching, and raising his four sons. John remained passionate about youth sports throughout his life and was instrumental in growing a community of sportsmanship throughout Elk River. In 2001 he became the Activities Director for the Elk River School District. John retired in 2011 when he and Marjorie began to travel the world together. John was inducted into the Elk River High School Hall of Fame in 2018.
John was an avid hunter, angler, and outdoorsman. Much like in his career, John relished sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge of the outdoors with others. From sitting in a deer stand with his grandchildren at the family hunting shack, Never Skunked Lodge, to sitting in a boat telling tall tales everywhere from local Maple Lake to Lac Seul lake in Canada, John loved being able to share the outdoors with family and friends.
Throughout his many accomplishments, faith and family always remained the bedrocks of John’s life. Ever since his early childhood days at St. James Lutheran School, John’s faith in Jesus guided his life and everything he did. John was an active member of River of Life Church, led men’s small groups, served on the Overseer Board, and took and supported mission trips with Marjorie. Faith and family were everything to John. He was a pillar of tradition, always a jokester, and equally comfortable having a deep one-on-one conversation as he was hosting over 60 people for Christmas or Easter. He was an unfailingly devoted husband, father, and grandfather.
John is survived by his wife, Marjorie of Elk River, sons Ryan (Lauri) of St. Michael, Luke (Renée) of Eau Claire, Adam (Sofya) of Falcon Heights, Jonathan (Kelley) of Maple Grove; grandchildren Mackenzie, Tanner, Parker, Kailer, Laken, Becklin, Leo, and Mila Barth; brothers Howard, Dale, Albert, Mark, Brian, Dan Barth and sisters Jane Barth and Judi Lammers, in addition to an abundance of nephews, nieces and other family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Lyle and James.
Visitation will be Monday, July 26th, from 4-7 p.m. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 27th, at 11 a.m. (additional visitation starts at 10 a.m.). Both events will be held at River of Life Church in Elk River. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Open Doors for Youth of Elk River or Feed My Starving Children. Arr. Dares Funeral Home 763-441-1212 www.daresfuneralservice.com
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