Last modified on October 12, 2019, at 15:55

Ernest Barton

Ernest Frank Barton

(Radio pioneer in West Texas)

Ernest Barton of Lubbock.jpg

Born February 14, 1930
Laredo, Texas
Died September 30, 2018 (aged 88)
Lubbock, Texas

Resting place:
Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock

Spouse Manuela Martinez Barton (married c. 1953-2018, his death)

Three children:
Ernest Barton, Jr. (deceased)
James Barton
Sandra Wallace Barton
Seven grandchildren
Alma mater:
Martin High School (Laredo, Texas)
Laredo Junior College University of Texas at Austin

Religion Roman Catholic

Ernest Frank Barton (February 14, 1930[1] – September 30, 2018) was the first Spanish language radio station owner in Lubbock, Texas. He is particularly known for assisting Hispanic families in the aftermath of the deadly tornadoes which struck Lubbock on May 4, 1970.[2]

Barton was born in Laredo in South Texas, to Ernest Barton and the former Juanita Trevino. After graduating from Martin High School, he joined the Texas National Guard while he attending the newly-established Laredo College, then known as Laredo Junior College. Barton served in the United States Air Force and thereafter continued his education at the University of Texas at Austin. [3]

Barton moved with his family in 1967 to Lubbock to launch KLFB, the first Spanish station in West Texas. He and his staff worked with first-responders to communicate via megaphones with Spanish-speaking residents during the aftermath of the tornadoes, which left twenty-six persons dead. He received a national commendation in 1972 from then U.S. President Richard M. Nixon for his work. “The 1970 Lubbock tornado reinforced that need to reach out to the community. There was a communication gap within the Hispanic community," Barton said in an interview with The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.[4]

Barton was the first Lubbock municipal human relations director and a founding director of the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center.[3]After the tornado, he launched Se Puede, a nonprofit television broadcast primarily for the Hispanic community, that stayed on the air for forty years. In 1992, he established Lubbock’s KEJS-FM radio station with his wife, the former Manuela TrevinoThe station remains on the air. The couple had three children. He also began The West Texas Hispanic News, a bilingual publication which lasted for forty-one years. One of his understudies, Christy Martinez-Garcia, said that Barton was "my mentor. I have so many memories of him. He was the individual who inspired my interest in my career as a public relations professional, a newspaper publisher, a television host, and radio announcer.”[4]

Barton's services were held on October 4, 2018, at Christ the King Cathedral. He is interred at Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock.[3]

References

  1. Ernest Barton. Mylife.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2019.
  2. In memoriam: Influential Lubbockites remembered from 2018. The Lubbock Avalanche Journal (January 1, 2019).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ernest Barton obituary. Dignitymemorial.com (October 1, 2018). Retrieved on January 2, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jayme Lozano (October 1, 2018). Lubbock's Ernest Barton, West Texas' first Spanish radio station owner, died at 88. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved on January 2, 2019.