Thomas R. Burton Jr.


THOMAS R., JR., 81

Brooker - Thomas R. Burton, Jr. (Tom) of Brooker, Florida, lived life on his own terms for 81 years before passing away peacefully surrounded by his family on the 1st of June, 2013, following a brief illness. He was born in Miami, Florida to the late Thomas R. Burton, Sr. and Gladys (Wishart) Burton. He was the eldest of 4 sons. He graduated from Edison High School in Miami, and received his Masters of Agriculture from the University of Florida (UF).

Tom served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan during the Korean War. He worked as a fireman in Miami, a research assistant at the UF Experimental Dairy Station in Hague, FL, a head professor of animal husbandry at the Escuela Agricola Panamericana in Honduras, a high school agriculture teacher in Belle Glade and Ft. Pierce, FL and a county agent in Dixie County, FL. He was with USAID in El Salvador and travelled to several Latin American countries in this role. He retired a professor of Biology at UF. In retirement he farmed and sold blueberries, shitake mushrooms, exotic and traditional produce at the Alachua County Farmer's Market and the "U Pick" Burton Farm. A few days before he died, he was happily tending his blueberry crop.

Tom leaves behind his wife, Ketty Burton, of 28 years, his stepson, Vido Rillano (Janna) of Dothan, AL; his children by his first wife (Lois Burton), Karen Burton (Alec) of Spanish Fort, AL, Sue Burton (Bill) of Tallahassee, FL, Thomas R. Burton, III of Mobile, AL, Patricia Burton (Mark) of Tallahassee, FL; and his grandchildren Daniel, Michelle, Patrick, Diana, Jackson and Murphy. He is also survived by his brother, Dan Burton (Trisha) of Sanford, NC, several nieces, nephews and grandnieces. He is pre-deceased by his two brothers, Jim Burton and Bill Burton.

Tom loved a party and swapping tall tales. A celebration of his life is planned in the near future.

Published in Gainesville Sun from June 6 to June 7, 2013