Charles Dean "Doc" Burton, formerly of Midland, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Williamsburg. Born Dec. 21, 1923, in Monroe, he was the son of Clare L. and Grace Will Burton.
He grew up in St. Johns and Lapeer, graduating from Lapeer High School in 1941. After joining the ROTC, Charlie attended Alma College and was selected for an officer's program based at Northwestern University
, from which he graduated before serving proudly as an ensign on the naval carrier USS Indus in the South Pacific during World War II
Following his service, Charlie married the former Joyce Marie Worth on June 22, 1946. After Charlie earned a master's degree in organic chemistry from Michigan State University
in 1948, the couple moved to the Philadelphia area, where he worked for chemical manufacturer Rohm & Haas.
In 1951, they moved to Holland, where Charles worked for Miles Laboratories in Zeeland. The parents of three daughters, the Burtons spent more than 50 of their 68 years together as residents of Midland, where Charlie worked as a chemist for The Dow Chemical Co. for 25 years, in rocket oxidizers and consumer products.
Following his retirement in 1986, he worked as a consultant for Caltech Industries in Midland. A member of the American Chemical Society for more than 60 years, he held several patents.
Charlie gave generously of his time and talents. He was an active member of Memorial Presbyterian Church, where he served as trustee. He was one of the first tutors at the Midland Literacy Council and tutored adult students for 15 years. He was a volunteer at the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network. A regular blood donor, he reached the 9 Gallon Club mark. Making sure his children and grandchildren received a college education was always a top priority.
Charlie was an avid golfer and managed to score a hole-in-one, twice. He was an original member of the 1966 Ware-Smith bowling team, which included members Chuck Malpass, Gary Johnson, Jim Baker, and the late John Snover, Ferrell McClure and Jim Hosher.
The Burtons vacationed for 40 years at Glen Lake in Northern Michigan, where Charlie could be seen sailing his blue and yellow Sunfish, "the Dapper Dipper."
Charlie will be missed for his sense of humor, which endeared him to many to the very end. In March 2012, Charlie and Joyce moved to Hope Village in Williamsburg. The family wishes to thank the caregivers and staff who provided excellent care and support during Charlie's last years, as well as the staff of Munson Hospice, who helped him transition from this world in comfort and with dignity.
Charlie is survived by his wife of 68 years, Joyce W. Burton of Williamsburg; children, Ginny (Mike) Martin of Rockford, Diane (Chris) Robb of Kewadin and Mary Burton (Kriss) of Ypsilanti; five grandchildren, Lindsey (Soulinh) Moungkhoun, Meg (Aaron) Jamrog, Christopher Robb, Andrew Stuart and Brendan Robb; three great-grandchildren, Charlie, Jade and Ty Moungkhoun; his sister, Betty Kalanquin; brother-in-law Richard (Susie) Worth; and sisters-in-law, Kathleen Burton and Janet Miller; as well as several nieces and a nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Lowell Burton; brother-in-law, Alan Miller; and his nephew, Tom Worth.
Funeral services for Charlie will take place at the Memorial Presbyterian Church on Monday, March 31, 2014, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Wallace H. Mayton will officiate, with burial in Midland City Cemetery.
Charlie's family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St., on Sunday, from 2-5 p.m., and at the church on Monday, from 10 a.m. until time of service.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked that contributions be made in Charles's name to the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network or the Midland Literacy Council. www.waresmithwoolever.com