Hometown Hero: Cookie Barton

By: Olivia Fecteau Email
By: Olivia Fecteau Email

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you've driven across a bridge on Teays Valley Road in Scott Depot, you may have noticed a sign: "PFC Michael J. Slater Memorial Bridge."

Right down the road, a large cross and sign commemorate the life of a fallen soldier. Michael Slater was only 18 years old when he died serving in Iraq in 2007.

There's no sign to celebrate the woman who started the petition to name the bridge after him. Like everything else Cookie Barton does, she doesn't think what she did is anything special.

"I helped out with delegates and a couple of my coworkers, and we got a bridge named after him," Barton said.

Michael's father, Chuck, works with Barton. He can't say enough about how much she helps everyone in her life, from coworkers to family members to friends.

"Our son was killed in Iraq in 2007," Slater said. "When Michael died, she brought food to the funeral and helped us."

It's not uncommon for Barton to do things like that. She takes care of families when someone passes away, cooking for them. She said she loves to see people eat and be happy.

"To see someone smile, for me to make someone smile, that's worth a million to me," Barton said.

Barton has organized multiple fundraisers: for a close friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and for a coworker with a brain tumor. She raised nearly $2,000 for that coworker, Bobby.

"In a time of need, it was very, very helpful what she did for my brother-in-law, Bobby," Mark Harris said.

Barton's sister, Gigi Parsons, nominated her for recognition as a WSAZ Hometown Hero. She presented Barton with a certificate at a celebration dinner at Shoney's in Charleston.

"For all that you have done, and all that you continue to do for your fellow employees, your family, your friends," Parsons said of why she nominated her sister for the award.

For Barton, her selfless giving is just who she is.

"I just try to do for everybody, I just love people," Barton said.

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