William Nathan "Bill" Burton
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a much-loved father, husband, brother, grandfather and friend. William Nathan "Bill" Burton was born in Donkin, Nova Scotia, April 11, 1931, and passed peacefully on January 27, 2018, surrounded by his family. Bill was the son of the late John Charles Burton and Marion (Noseworthy). Bill was pre-deceased in 2016 by his beloved wife, Mary Margaret (McWilliam) and his infant brother John Charles Jr. in 1936. Deeply mourning his loss are daughter Denise Barrett (Michael), son Gregory Burton (Jacquelyn), brothers Wayne of Donkin, and Edward (Marie) of LaSalle, Quebec, grandchildren Emma and Tori Barrett, treasured cousin Johnena Vaters (Roy), and cherished family friends Florence Ann Morrison and Michael Dezagiacomo. Bill devoted himself to a career with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1954 to 1986. As a lad in Donkin, he was lured to an Air Force recruiting centre with the promise of "seeing the world". Soon thereafter he was lying in the belly of a Lancaster bomber flying photo-reconnaissance missions in the Arctic to help complete aerial mapping of Canada’s north. Bill often told fascinating stories about his time as a high-frequency radio operator, dropped into remote locations with only radios, rations, and antennas for company. He worked with teams intercepting Russian radio communications, locating downed satellites, and on anti-submarine patrols. He spoke fondly of time spent in remote military locations such as Alert, Resolute Bay, Whitehorse, the Northwest Territories, Thule Greenland, and Newfoundland and Labrador. He was extremely proud to have been awarded his Lieutenant’s Commission in 1969 by then Governor General Roland Michener, who had spent many enjoyable evenings in the 1950’s with the telecommunications intercept teams, swapping radio lore and war stories in the Arctic and Labrador. For such a quiet and reserved man, Bill’s life was certainly an interesting one.
A lifelong member of the Anglican Church, Bill’s 86 years of life will be celebrated in a private committal service later this summer at St. Luke’s Anglican Church cemetery, Port Caledonia, N.S. Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to St. Luke’s Anglican Church cemetery fund, the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. Online donations or condolences may be made at www.fallis-shields.com