A funeral Mass was celebrated for Deacon James Burton Oct. 23 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in south St. Louis. Deacon Burton, who served his entire diaconate at St. Gerard Majella Parish in Kirkwood, died Oct. 13. He was 87.
Deacon Burton, age 87, was born in 1930 in Oklahoma City, Okla. He was married to Jeanine Burton, (nee McGuigan) on Jan. 13, 1951, and had 10 children: Robert, Richard, Jean, Janet, James ("Max"), Tom, John, Joe, Anne and the late Dr. Frank. They also had 48 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. Deacon Burton served for three years in the United States Navy.
Deacon Burton was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Diaconate on June 10, 1995, by then-Archbishop Justin F. Rigali. He was assigned to St. Gerard Majella Parish and served there until his retirement on Aug. 10, 2005.
At St. Gerard Majella, he performed the sacramental functions of a deacon, specifically assisting at Mass, conducting wake services and attending funerals, leading Liturgy of the Word and Communion services when needed, performing baptisms, conducting benedictions and leading Stations of the Cross. Deacon Burton worked extensively in parish- based ministries with a focus in supporting those in need through the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
Interment of his cremains was in Resurrection Cemetery.