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Obituary for Ernest 'Ernie' Warren Burton
Ernest Burton, 85, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, July 5 at the Sonora Regional Medical Center in Sonora, California. He was born on June 23, 1929, at the family home on the Burton Ranch in Vacaville. He was a graduate of Vacaville High School, in 1947, where he excelled in academics and sports. He participated on several championship city basketball teams and fast pitch softball teams after high school. He and his brother Earl were rifle sharp shooters and traveled to Ohio several years in a row to compete in the national championships. He enjoyed dove, pheasant, and deer hunting. After working as a machinist at Mare Island he worked 39 years as the manager of the Food Science and Technology Pilot Plant at UC Davis. He earned a B.S. degree in Food Technology during this time and taught several classes in the Department. His machinist skills, farm background and practical food processing expertise were invaluable to faculty and students in designing and fabricating custom equipment for research projects. Ernie coached discus and shot put, which produced a national, state, and women’s state champion. He made discuses and built a portable discus ring that could be moved and used at high schools that didn’t have the proper facilities. During the 70’s he was a member of the Vacaville Unified School Board and was an advocate for education his whole life. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Nan Burton, first wife, Marian Burton, brothers Lawrence, Richard, Marion, and Clarence, and sisters Grace and Ezma. He is survived by his wife Pat, brothers Earl (Beverly), Gary, Fred (Bonnie), George (Stormy) and sister Margaret(Ted) Cook of Sacramento. Sister-in-law Allean (Buck) of Vacaville and brother-in-law Bill Powell (Grace) of Livermore, daughters Nancy of Vacaville, Catherine of Modesto, Terrie Sullivan (Steve) of Seattle, Kim Genzale (John) of Phoenix and sons Ray (Rosie) of Oregon, David Baker (Laura) of Auburn, and Neal Baker (Ann) of Windsor. Grandsons Bobbie Boykin (Natalie), Brad Boykin (Magen) and Chase Burton (Samantha), Scott, Michael, Kyle Baker, and Leo Genzale. Granddaughters Chancy Burton, Jenna, Brittany, and Kerry Baker, China Sutton, and Jade Genzale. Great grandchildren: McKenna, Alexa and Rylee Boykin of Vacaville and Zoe and Jace Boykin of Florida. Many nieces and nephews also survive and will deeply miss “Uncle Ernie.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Grace Burton Powell Scholarship Fund (solanocf.org) or the Saturday Club of Vacaville Foundation.
Service: Memorial service will be held on August 8th at 11:00 a.m. at McCune Garden Chapel