Obituary of Lieutenant Commander William Burton
William Edward Burton, son of Florence Niehaus and William Francis Burton, was born on September 29, 1920 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Following high school graduation, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy and served on various ships during World War II. He participated in four major invasions aboard USS Owens, and he returned to civilian life in 1947 where he remained active in the Naval Reserve. The Navy remained a point of pride for Bill; he was often seen wearing his "Retired Navy" cap around town.
Bill met Vera Luteran, a nurse, and they fell in love, got married, and have four daughters: Pat, Diane, Barbara, and Florence. Moving from Jersey City to Denville allowed the family to enjoy the suburban neighborhood of Beacon Hill for 28 years. Bill was an active and playful father, building huge snowmen with the neighborhood children and spinning hula hoops on the lawn for them to dive through. He was also an involved citizen, taking part in the Denville town councils and Beacon Hill Association. His commitment to the town was recognized by having a street named after him; Burton Lane, a few blocks from where the family resided.
In 1965, Bill returned to active duty in the Navy, taking command of Naval training centers in the metropolitan area. He retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 1979 with twenty years of active duty and thirty-eight years total service. After retirement, he and Vera moved to Oswego, New York, where Bill worked for Marine Towing and Transportation Company. The long harsh winters lead them to move to Phoenix, Arizona, where they enjoyed living on a small lake and being truly retired.
Moving to the retirement community of Fox Hills in Rockaway in 2000 enabled them to be near Jersey relatives and friends once again. Bill and Vera both enjoyed water aerobics, the exercise room, and the festivities of the community. Bill was known for helping out his neighbors. He was a good friend to many. He enjoyed listening to books on tape, doing crossword puzzles, and playing board games.
Bill treated his family with such loving care. His wife Vera will miss him so much, as will his adoring daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was a strong, determined man with a heart of gold and a kind nature. His family was blessed to have him for ninety-six years. They know he has a place with the angels in heaven, and he will live forever in the hearts and souls of his family. Bill loved his family, his friends, and our country. May he rest in peace.
Friends and relatives may visit on Wednesday, December 28 from 4-8 pm at the Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 29 at 10 am at the Norman Dean Home for Services. Military Honors will be present. Committal prayers will be on Friday, December 30 at 10:30 am at Stanhope Union Cemetery, 245 Continental Drive North, Mount Olive. To read entire obituary and share memories with his family please go to www.normandean.com. Donations can be made in his memory to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital by way of www.inmemoryof-memorial.org.
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