Our Dads on Father’s Day

Joseph L. Barron with his blushing bride Sarah Jo, 1957
Joseph L. Barron with his blushing bride Sarah Jo, 1957

I know that everyone on Facebook is posting those lame “Best Dad in the World” status updates today and tomorrow, so I was a little reluctant to post this, but on the other hand, it’s nice to have this stuff on file for posterity.

My father, Joseph Lloyd Barron, was born April 15, 1935. He married my mother, Sarah Jo Batten, December 21, 1957, the day after he was discharged from the Army Reserve. Both native Missourians, they moved to Lawton, Oklahoma in 1971, and to Palm Coast, Florida in 1987. For most of his career, Joe was an educator, spending the bulk of his life as a contract management training specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration. In the mid-1980s, Sarah Jo joined him in that capacity, serving as an educational team until their retirements in the mid-1990s. He died in 2005.

Abby’s father, William Hershel Shoffner, was born May 23, 1923. He served in World War II in the United States Navy. For his entire career, he served as a machinist and engineer for Haliburton in Duncan, Oklahoma, where some of his designs were patented. He also operated a machine shop at his Ryan, Oklahoma home. He married Agness Ann Mitchell October 12, 1947, and the couple had four daughters. Hershel died last year.

Abby and I were very fortunate to get to know each other’s fathers before they passed. We both miss our dads, and each other’s dads, very much this Father’s Day.

Hershel Shoffner visiting at the Shoffner Familty Reunion, 2007
Hershel Shoffner visiting at the Shoffner Familty Reunion, 2007


  1. It’s interesting how our family histories have intertwining threads.

    My Dad was an FAA employee for 30-something years, and his Dad worked for Halliburton for about 20 years.

    I’m very fortunate to have mine still around; I try not to take it for granted.

  2. Oh, COME ON, Richard!! It is so obvious that your mom only married your dad so that she would barely have to change her name!! And your dad was a very large domestic feline!!! The probability that Abby’s and your children will be cats is extremely high. And not only that but your parents pretty much started the whole “couple name’ phenomenon.

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