Walter Junior Burton, 77, formerly of rural Peru, Indiana, flew away on angels’ wings into the arms of Jesus, from The Veteran’s Home at King, Wisconsin, on May 28, 2020.
Born September 22, 1942, in Somerset, Kentucky, he was the son of Walter Eli and Otha Bell Hawk Burton. He was the middle child of eleven children. The family moved to Peru, Indiana, in the 1940’s, and Walter graduated from Jefferson Township High School, in Mexico, Indiana, in 1961. On May 13, 1962, he married his first love, his “sweetie,” Sandra Kay Ahlfeld. They celebrated thirty-nine years of marriage until her passing on June 3, 2001.
After graduating from high school, Walter enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he proudly served until 1971. He then joined the Naval Reserves until 1975. During his time in the Navy, he served on the USS Jallao SS368, a Balao-class submarine, the USS Rayburn SSBN635, a Polaris Ballistic Missile Submarine, where he was a Polaris missile technician. A Vietnam veteran, he served four patrols and received his national Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Award.
He is survived by his three children, Anthony (Elizabeth A.) Burton, Andre (Hope) Burton; and Adaline (David) Cunningham, all of Peru; nine grandchildren, Austin (Kylie), Ashton, Alec, and Jessica, Elizabeth J., and Hannah Burton; and Tristan, Jocelynn, and Jasper Cunningham; five great-grandchildren; his siblings, Myrtle (David) Correll, Logansport; Betty Gebhardt, Logansport; Geraldine Correll, Converse; George Kenneth (Patty) Burton, Peru; Linda Sue Waymire, Peru; and Jane Burton, Peru; along with many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Oliver Eugene Burton, and David “Tinker” Burton; two sisters, Nancy Mae Hunt, and Mary Ann Denham; and one cousin that was raised as a brother, Charles Robert Hawk.
In December of 2002, Walter moved to Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, where he lived with the second love of his life, Joanne Forbes. She survives with his Wisconsin family, which includes Joanne’s four children, Dennis (Rhonda) Fink, Randy (Darla) Fink, and Shirley (Bud) Prescher, all of Wisconsin Rapids, and Darcie (Keith) Krupinski, Kansas City, Mo., The extended Wisconsin family of Langrecks, Finks, and Preschers, includes an additional nine grandchildren, twenty-two great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren, with another expected soon.
Walter was a kind and generous family man with good Christian values. He truly loved The Lord, his family, and his many friends. He was a true friend and teacher to all. He enjoyed many things in life: electronics, farming, family reunions, the Green Bay Packers, and all music-especially country and gospel.
After leaving the military, Walter started his own business, Walter Burton and Associates. He installed many industrial boilers and provided service to many of them. He was an expert at combustion electronic controls, instrumentation, burners, and flame management systems. He had contracts with many V.A. Hospitals throughout the United States, and had worked in China, India, and Mexico.
From 2003-2005, he hauled travel trailers for Horizon Transport in Wakarusa, and from 2005-2015, he and Joanne worked for Figi’s Cheese.
The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to all the wonderful nurses, aides, and staff at Tomah and King V.A. for providing Walter outstanding care and compassion during his final illness.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, June 6, 2020, at Mexico Baptist Church, with Pastor Kyle Schnitz officiating. Burial will be in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Peru.
Visitation will be from 9 am until the time of service, at the church.
McClain Funeral Home, Denver, Indiana, has been entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at www.mcclainfh.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Cemetery Fund.
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