Posted On November 9th, 2011 -


William James Barton, Jr., 78, retired Bank of Hawaii Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, died October 27 following a brief illness. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, November 23, 1932, to William James and Dorcas Barton.

Bill received his BBA from the University of Michigan. He served in the United States Air Force as First Lieutenant at the end of the Korean War and in the Michigan Air National Guard as Captain. He later returned to the University of Michigan and completed an MBA.

Bill began his professional career with Comerica Bank in Detroit where he eventually served as Vice President for pension investments. He moved to Honolulu in 1981 to join Hawaiian Trust. In 1985, he made the transition to Bank of Hawaii where he was instrumental in creating the Hawaiian Tax Free Trust and the Pacific Capital Cash Assets Trust. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), former trustee of the Birmingham Michigan Pension Plan, a member of the Security Analysts Society of San Francisco and the American Arbitration Association, and a fellow of the Financial Analysts Federation.

An avid runner, Bill participated in Varsity track at the University of Michigan, and was a member of Michigan’s Big Ten Championship Mile Relay Team in 1952 and 1953. He competed in trials for the 1956 U.S. Olympic track team. Bill completed 14 marathons, including seven Boston marathons, and competed in many Island relay events.

Bill will also be remembered for his love of music and travel. He was an active member of St. Clement’s church choir, and board member of the Hawaii Opera Theatre. He enjoyed annual family ski trips to Colorado and world cruises with friends.

Bill is survived by his daughter Elizabeth Barton Burgin, his hanai wife Martha Laxson, Martha’s ohana including daughters Elizabeth (Adam) Kimberly and Sarah (Andy) Maloy, and grandchildren David and Sophia Kimberly. He is preceded in death by his wife Nancy Lee Barton and son Stuart Barton.

Martha says of Bill that he was the most confident and optimistic person she has ever known.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, November 14 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, 229 Queen Emma Square. Gathering at 3 pm, followed by service at 4 pm. Reception “A Celebration of Life” will follow at the Pacific Club, 1451 Queen Emma Street. Valet parking will be available at the Pacific Club from 3 pm. Lei in honor of Bill are welcome at the service. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the University of Michigan Athletics Dept/Track & Field or to the Parish of St. Clement/Music program. Condolences may be offered at www.borthwickoahu.com.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran