BATH - New Hampshire Executive Councilor and Grafton County Commissioner Raymond S. Burton, 74, of River Road, died peacefully at his home, the Burton Family Farm, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013.
Raymond was born in Burlington, Vt., on Aug. 13, 1939, to Stephen J. and Natalie (Hill) Burton. He attended the Bath Village School, then graduated from Woodsville High School, class of 1958. Following his high school graduation, he earned his bachelor degree in education from Plymouth State College in 1962. As an educator, he taught for a short time in Andover and as a teaching principal at the Warren Village School and Springfield College.
In his public life, Raymond will forever be known for his lifelong dedication to the people of New Hampshire, particularly the residents of the North Country, whom he has continuously served as executive councilor for District 1 since 1981. He often stated that, "We cannot let anybody in Concord forget that there's life north of Concord. We have to tell them to start looking out their north windows." Throughout his 50-plus years of service, he received multiple forms of recognition. He was proud of being a sponsor for the YMCA Youth in Government Program, involving high school students in the process of government. He initiated the student intern program for high school and college students to obtain experience in government. In 2010, he was a recipient of the Granite State Award and the Blair Award in 2013 from his alma mater, Plymouth State, for his exceptional contributions to the state. He also was presented with the White Mountains Treasure Award by the Mount Washington Chamber of Commerce for his dedication to the North Country.
Councilor Burton attended functions throughout his district and belonged to multiple committees and organizations, including the Grafton Kane Masonic Lodge No. 46 of North Haverhill; chairman of the Bath Town Republican Committee, clerk of the Grafton County Board of Commissioners, member of the Governor's Highway Advisory Council, member of the Grafton County Conservation District, member of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau, member of the Pine Grove Grange (Seventh Degree), and a member of the United Church of Christ in Bath. In recent years and weeks there had been dedications of the Raymond S. Burton Bridge on Route 135 in Woodsville, the Ray Burton Park at the Grafton County Complex, the Raymond S. Burton Commons in North Woodstock, and two weeks ago, the Raymond S. Burton Overlook in Bretton Woods, to name but a few.
Raymond never put himself first. It could be said that his credo was, "I am third." Growing up in Bath, the church was a very important part of family life. Even with his busy schedule, he would be found playing the organ for the Sunday service. The North Country and New Hampshire were then second in his life. He was always available to his constituents and assisted them in every way possible. He put himself third. Service to others was his life
. "Burton for Certain."
Raymond was predeceased by his father, Stephen Burton on Jan. 12, 1964, and by his mother, Natalie Burton Grimes on Feb. 28, 2013, and his stepfather, Gerald Grimes on Feb. 2, 1991.
He is survived by two sisters, Mary Grimes and husband Ken of Columbia, and Joan Day and husband Dan of Concord; a brother, Stephen Burton and wife Martha of Hanover; a niece, Donna Frye and her daughter, Breanna of Witchita Falls, Texas; a nephew, Jay Grimes and wife Judy and their sons, Jacob and Jace of Columbia; a stepsister, Helen M. Smith of Haverhill; an aunt, Evelyn Prescott of Sanbornton; along with several cousins.
SERVICES: There will be no calling hours. A private service for family and members of the Bath Community will be held at the Bath Congregational Church.
The public is welcome to attend a service of celebration and remembrance of Ray's life that will be held on Dec. 14, at 1 p.m. at Plymouth State University, Student Union Building, High Street, Plymouth.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Raymond S. Burton Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 17, Bath, NH 03740.
For more information or to offer an online condolence, please visit www.rickerfh.com
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.