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Obituary for Clarence E. Burton Jr.
Clarence E. Burton Jr., 93, passed away Feb. 1, 2012, at the Cottonwood Acute Care Center in Woodland. Clarence had been recovering at the care center since suffering a fractured femur last October. Better known as “Shorty,” he was born April 27, 1918 at home on the Burton Ranch where he spent his entire life, never once leaving the state of California. The third of 12 children, Shorty graduated from Vacaville High School in June, 1936. It was in high school that Shorty developed his lifelong enjoyment of basketball, which included his time spent as coach, manager and player for the Vacaville town team from 1940 to 1950. Following graduation, Shorty began a career in the fruit shipping business and was employed by Pacific Fruit Exchange in Vacaville. It was from Vacaville that the first fruit of the season was delivered to the New York markets where fresh fruit was considered quite a delicacy. By the end of his career, Shorty was office manager for the W. J. Roberts Packing Company in Suisun Valley. After 32 years in the packing business, he retired in 1968 to begin a “second career” helping four of his brothers in farming the fruit ranch planted by their grandfather in the early 1880s. For another 44 years, Shorty continued to work in the orchards until he suffered a heart attack last May. Despite this setback, Shorty remained a critical part of the ranch by patiently providing instruction and guidance. This lifetime of hard work, however, did not prevent Shorty from taking an active role in the raising of his three youngest brothers following the death of their father. His unwavering work ethic and strong character has served as an example to the generations of family that have followed. Shorty is survived by his brothers, Earl (Beverly), Ernest (Pat), Fred (Bonnie), George (Stormy), of Vacaville, and Gary of Corning; sister, Margaret Cook of Sacramento; sister-in-law, Allean Burton (Buck); and brother-in-law, Bill Powell (Grace) of Vacaville. Five siblings have preceded him in death, brothers, Lawrence, Richard, and Marion (Buck); and sisters Ezma Jean and Grace Powell. His large extended family of nieces and nephews, and their children, will greatly miss their Uncle Shorty. A visitation will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 at McCune Garden Chapel, 212 Main Street, Vacaville. A graveside service will take place at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 at Suisun-Fairfield Cemetery, 1707 Union Avenue, Fairfield, followed by a reception at the Vine Street District Fire Station, 420 Vine Street, Vacaville.