Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Linda Lou Barto

HURLEY, Wis. — Linda Lou Barto, of Hurley, passed away Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021, with her most precious belongings at her side — her daughter and grandchildren.

Linda was born on March 12, 1949, the daughter of Albert and Anna Barto. She grew up in Pence. At the age of 4 her mother passed away, so she was raised by her father. Helping them were her Uncle Duke and Aunt Vera Chiapuzio. Linda was the only child. Duke and Vera had three boys — Romon, Rodney and Douglass — and they were the brothers she never had.

Linda attended Pence grade school, then South Side in Hurley, after the closing of Pence school. Linda graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley in 1967, where she enjoyed playing saxophone and winning many state medals.

Linda was an avid sports enthusiast. She enjoyed skiing at Whitecap Mountain, fishing at local fishing holes, and was part of the James Gang, the first woman’s softball team in Iron County. Linda was the pitcher, described as the winning twirler by the newspaper. During those years, she helped the James Gang win many tournaments and developed a great bond, making lifelong memories. One player recently said, “Yes, we could hit the ball and play defense, but without a strong pitcher we would not have been the top team.” Linda and her friend, Jean, also started the first woman’s pool league in Hurley.

In the mid 1970s, Linda started working at the Museum Bar in Hurley where she became best friends with owners Tommy and Jean Gamache. During that time she meet Jean’s brother, William Maness, and together they had a daughter, Jean Ann Barto.

Linda spent the rest of her life with health issues and devoted her whole existence to taking care of her father during his later years, her daughter and eventually grandchildren. Jean’s friends will always have memories of Linda attending everything with her camcorder, recording them doing anything. Linda loved the Green Bay Packers and looked forward to watching the games with her grandson who loves the Minnesota Vikings. She had family who, even though were not blood related, were very special people. They include: Dan Walowinski and his family; Ileana Babich; her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Gary Gillingham; Jeannie Walston and Angela Sands.

Linda will be greatly missed by her daughter, Jean (Larry) Gerbig; grandchildren, Tommy and Sadie Udd; cousin, Joe Barto; William Maness; Dan Walowinski; and numerous friends.

Linda was proceeded in death by her parents, Albert and Anna Barto; her best friend, Doris Juntunen; and friend, Tommy Gamache.

Per Linda’s request, cremation will take place and the family will have a private gathering at a later date.

Thank you to the friends and family that left a mark in Linda and Jean’s life making memories.