James E. Burton, age 68, passed away at 5:10 a.m. Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at the Veteran Affairs Illiana Health Care System, Danville.
James was born Jan. 26, 1945, to Clarence J. and Betty (Pate) Burton and grew up in Catlin. They preceded him in death.
James grew up with his sister Dottie M. (Ronald) Jones of Danville and a sister, Ruth Marie Burton, who passed way as a baby. James also grew up spending a lot of his childhood with his beloved aunt and uncle, Dorothy and Carl Hickman, whom he cared for in their last years of their lives.
In 1965, James became the father of Scott Alan Burton who preceded him in death in 1985.
In 1977, James wed the love of his life, Jean (Cosat) Burton of Westville, and the two resided in Westville for the majority of their 36 years together.
James became good friends with his in-laws, Fred and Mary Cosat, who have both preceded him in death, and also was close with his brothers- and sisters-in-law, whom he spent a lot of time with. His daughter, Samantha A. (William) Losher was born in 1979 and now lives in Bloomington with his three granddaughters, Mercedes “Sadie” Baybordi, Annabelle Baybordi and Elaina Losher, all of whom meant the world to him. James enjoyed spending time with his cousin Larry Holman and good friends Don Burgin, Fred Reddy and his best buddy, Cezar.
Jim loved all of his family and extended family and spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, camping and just sitting back and telling stories with many of his nephews and nieces. He loved them like his own children, and they were all very special to him.
James served in the U.S. Army, where he qualified as a sharpshooter and received a National Defense Medal. He also was a member of Westville American Legion Post 51. He worked at Bohn Aluminum, Chanute Air Force Base and was superintendent of Wastewater and Water at the village of Catlin, where he was the recipient of “Best Plan of the Year” award in a six-state area three years in a row.
James learned to play the guitar many years ago while at the VA hospital, and, along with his music instructor, they entertained the veterans staying at the hospital, visiting with them and playing songs. He also won a National Music Award through the VA.
James was also an avid gun collector, enjoyed target shooting and was a member of the Westville Sportsman Club. He was known for his love of rummage sales and flea markets, and always had a story behind the good deal he got or missed.
His favorite holiday was Halloween, a passion that he passed down to his daughter and granddaughters. He created many memories with his famous Haunted Trail, Halloween tricks and good ghost stories around the campfire.
The family would like to thank the Palliative Care team at the VA Illiana Health Care System for its support and care.
Visitation and services will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Morey Chapel Church of Christ where he wed his wife 36 years ago.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Palliative Care Unit at the VA. Rortvedt Funeral Services is assisting the family.