The Signal

Arnold Lawrence Barton, MD


Arnold “Arnie” Lawrence Barton, MD, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family and friends, on February 1, 2023.

Arnold was born in New Rochelle, New York, to Robert and Irene Barton. He had one older brother, Stuart. At the age of four, his family left New York and relocated to Los Angeles.

As a young boy, Arnold loved horses and he worked at the stables through elementary and junior high school so he would be able to ride his favorite horse, Goldie. He also spent a lot of time on his father’s boat, instilling in him a love for the ocean that stayed with him his entire life.

Arnold was an avid wrestler and class valedictor­ian at Los Angeles High School. After graduating, we went on to obtain his undergradu­ate degree from the University of California Los Angeles. He was on the wrestling team at UCLA, making it to the PAC-10 championsh­ip three years in a row. Arnold also placed second at the Southern Pacific AAU Wrestling Championsh­ip in 1959.

Exceptiona­lly bright, Arnold was accepted to the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California after only his third year of undergradu­ate school. Since he never completed his fourth year, he liked to joke that he was a “college dropout”.

After graduating with his medical degree from the University of Southern California, he returned to UCLA for his residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, staying on as Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmol­ogy until 2013.

It was during his residency that Arnold was drafted to the Vietnam War. As a doctor he entered the army with the rank of major and was stationed for two years at Fort Devens, Massachuse­tts, where he treated Vietnam Veterans returning from war.

After his service, he returned to the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute to complete his residency, first in his program. In 1970 Arnold began his private ophthalmol­ogy practice, the Santa Clarita Valley Eye Center, in Santa Clarita Valley, CA, where he remained in practice for over 50 years.

Arnold had a reputation of excellence in his field among his peers and his patients. He was exceptiona­lly hard-working, and truly cared for his patients. Everyone who knew him knew that he loved being Dr. Barton.

He was fun, loving, generous, kind, and he loved telling jokes. He never took a sick day, rarely took a vacation, but if he did, it would be on a cruise or to Hawaii with his family.

Arnold always had a smile and his easy-going personalit­y was contagious to everyone he met. He was a social butterfly. He thrived in social situations and he loved meeting new people. Eloquent in any subject, he especially loved talking about gadgets, cars and audio-visual home theatre systems. He would spend his free time going to the Consumer Electronic Show, car shows, concerts, Broadway shows and watching the newest movie releases. The son of a Vaudeville performer, he loved music and he loved to dance (albeit behind closed doors).

Arnold was predecease­d by his father Robert, his mother Irene, and his older brother Stuart.

Arnold is survived and missed by his loving wife Esabelle of 37 years together, and their daughters Nicole, Celina and Mandie. He will be forever cherished and remembered by his six young grandchild­ren, Beau, Brooklyn, Ruby, Felix, Blakely and Beatrix.

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