Cover photo for Michael  Swain Barter's Obituary
Michael  Swain Barter Profile Photo
1947 Michael 2023

Michael Swain Barter

February 8, 1947 — August 1, 2023

The world lost a brilliant man this week. Michael Swain Barter died Tuesday, August 1st at 8:01 p.m. Born February 8, 1947, in Beverly, Massachusetts to John and Dorothea Barter, who Mike is now reunited with, along with his grandparents Walter Swain and Julia Henderson Hinchman, and sister Julia M. Gilliam.

Mike left his mark on the world in so many ways. Mike had five patents to his name. He worked with Ethan Allen Furniture to design wood fired broilers. He also designed a system to power an entire hotel and ski resort (The Balsams in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire). Locally, Mike was project manager for the construction of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Athens, TN. Using his engineering skills, Mike led numerous projects in nuclear power plants around the country from Maine to Washington. These accomplishments would lead you to believe Mike was all work and no play, but this could not be further from the truth.

Mike lived his life to the fullest. As an avid fisherman, Mike pulled more fish than can be counted out of lakes, rivers, and the sea. He was also proficient in many musical instruments including the banjo, guitar, and trumpet (the latter he was occasionally fond of using as a household alarm clock). Mike knew his way around a kitchen as well, and his baked stuffed lobster was legendary.

Mike is survived by his wife of 31 years, Phyllis, sons Nathan, John, Micah and wife Jennifer, and Andrew and wife Candace, sisters Elizabeth and Ann, grandchildren Taylor, Joshua, Elijah, Abraham, Jacob, Meagan, Lauren, Kilby, and Sierra, and great-grandchildren Mason, Fay, Oliver, and Henry. Everyone who was part of Michael’s life is forever changed for knowing him, and he will be sorely missed. Goodbye Mike.

There will be no public services at this time, however you are encouraged to share a memory of Mike and/or your personal condolences with his family by visiting his memorial webpage and guestbook at

Companion Funeral Home of Athens is honored to assist his family with these arrangements.


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