MILO - Hanford "Sonny" James Burton, 85, husband of Diana Lyford Burton, passed away April 14, 2016, at Eastern Maine Medical Center with his family by his bedside after a long battle with Alzheimer's and heart disease. He was born May 14, 1930, in Van Buren, the son of Ray and Nelida Burton.
While in high school, Sonny volunteered to go into the Army and was deployed to Japan and then in 1950 he served in Korea. He survived many battles including the battle at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea remaining as one of the "Chosin Few" to survive. Sonny received his high school diploma in 2002 from Milo High School. He was a longtime member of the American Legion Post #41 in Milo and a member of the Burton-Goode-Sargent Maine Chapter #1 of the Korean War Veterans. Sonny held many jobs in his lifetime and retired as a custodian for MSAD 41 in 1996. He loved to dance and would often get asked to dance by the many students at the school and was loved by them. Sonny enjoyed mic night at Coburn's Family Restaurant on Tuesday nights in Milo and he and Diana would often be the only ones dancing. He absolutely loved to "boogie" with his grandchildren. Another thing Sonny enjoyed was marching in the parades and he would march proudly wearing his uniform as long as his body allowed and then still participated by riding along. Sonny also enjoyed sitting out on his lawn and watching and waving to all his friends, young and old, pass by.
In addition to his loving wife, Diana, Sonny is survived by his two sons, Steven and his wife, Cheryl, of Ripley, and Randy and his wife, Karen, of Garland with whom Diana resides. He was Bampa to Tricia Cesena and her husband, Dominic, and their children, Taylor-Jo, Kyleigh, and Jonas; Erin Burton and her friend, Carlos, and their children, Madison, Aiden, Rayna, Gage, and Gwen, all of Ripley; Megan Bell and her husband, Robert, of Sidney, and their children, Garrett and Gabriel; Melissa Sewall and her husband, Micah, of Litchfield, and their daughter, Emmalin, and future granddaughter due on July 4th. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Sonny was predeceased by an infant daughter, Vicki, and his siblings, Patsy, Richard, and Roderick Burton, and Theresa Thurlow.
The family would like to recognize the doctors and nurses at EMMC in the ICU who made him comfortable and gave him great care in his last days.
Family and friends are invited to call 6-8pm Thursday, April 21, 2016, at the Lary Funeral Home, Milo, where a funeral service will be conducted 11am Friday, April 22, 2016. Burial with military honors will be held in the Evergreen Cemetery, Milo. Fellowship and refreshments at the American Legion Post #41 will follow the services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the American Legion Post #41, P.O. Box 177, Milo, ME 04463. Messages of condolence and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com