Forest L. Barter, 88: Veteran, grocery executive loved serving his church

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PORTLAND — Forest Linwood Barter, 88, died July 28 at his residence.

He was born in Portland on April 26, 1926, the son of Otis F. and Ruth H. Greenleaf Barter. He attended schools in Portland and Gorham, graduating from Portland High School in 1943 with high honors. He then when on to attend Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Barter enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, receiving basic training at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He qualified as a 2nd-class 40mm gunner and an expert rifleman, then attended anti-aircraft artillery school and communication school, becoming a qualified radio operator.

During World War II, Barter served in the Philippines and the Admiralty Islands, where he was assigned to the 54th Coast Artillery Radar Detachment as a radio/radar crewman. When the war ended, he served with the 164th AAA Battalion, guarding a prisoner-of-war camp in Quezon City, Philippines. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Three years later, on May 28, 1949, he married Doris L. Osterberg.

Barter was employed by the A&P Tea Co. for almost 31 years, including a stint as assistant meat buyer and assistant sales manager in the Portland district office. In 1969, he was transferred to A&P’s Boston divisional office as a merchandiser and meat buyer. His final assignment was as meat buyer for A&P’s Northeast regional office in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Barter and his family moved back to Maine in 1977, and he worked for 23 years as a senior account executive with Jordan’s Meats, becoming salesman of the year in 1987. He retired in 1989 to part-time work and fully retired in 2002.

Barter was formerly active with Portland Box 61 and the Boston Sparks Association. A longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Portland, he served as associate Sunday school superintendent, a deacon, a trustee, a member of the Christian Education Missions and Worship, a building committee member and a church moderator.

Barter’s service to the church also included helping to found the Gospel Crusaders (an interdenominational youth group) and serving as a director of Portland Youth for Christ. He also served as co-chairman of the committee that invited Billy Graham and his team to Portland. In addition, he served several terms as a member and board chairman of the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Maine.

He was also a member of the Sha-Goie-Watha Sportsman’s Club of Portland and Otisfield and the Associated Sportsman’s Club of Cumberland County.

Barter enjoyed traveling with his wife and family. His children and grandchildren fondly remember “Grampa” as a faithful supporter and attendee at their activities.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Doris L. Osterberg Barter; a sister, Dorothie L. Crescenti of Hemet, California; five grandchildren, Erin Barter, Nicole Barter, Sarah Shuper, Scott Barter and Rebecca Crane; five great-grandchildren, Cameron Jordan, Leah Jordan, Jakob Bowe, Connor Bowe and Alina Shuper; daughters-in-law, Linda Barter, of California, and Patti Barter, of Gray; sister-in-law, Marguerite Weimer and her husband, Thelman; sister-in-law, Lois A. Barter, of Falmouth; and many nieces and nephews.

Barter was predeceased by two sons, Bruce H. Barter in 2002 and David L. Barter in 2010; and two brothers, Otis Barter and Herbert Barter.

Visiting hours and a celebration of Barter’s life were held Aug. 1 at First Baptist Church in Portland.

For the care Barter received, his family wishes to thank Dr. Frederick Aronson, Stephanie, Julie and other staff; Dr. Gary Green; and the staff at Hospice of Southern Maine.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Southern Maine Cancer Center, 100 Campus Drive, Scarborough, ME 04074; to Southern Maine Hospice, 180 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074; or to Child Evangelism Fellowship, 431 Campground Road, Livermore Falls, ME 04245.

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