Lewis C. Burton, 90, the retired fire chief of the City of Haverhill and a former mayor, died Monday night, May 1, at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, Brighton.
Born, raised and educated in Methuen, son of the late Thomas and Eva (Drouin) Burton, he attended the Howe Street School and was a member of the Searles High School class of 1945. Burton served as a Seaman in the U.S. Navy during World War Two and was a recipient of the World War Two Victory Medal. Following his discharge from the service, he attended Merrimack College and received his associates degree in electrical engineering.
Beginning in 1955, Burton began a 31-year career with the Haverhill Fire Department, serving as fire chief from 1970 to 1986, except for two years in 1976 and 1977 when he served as mayor. He also taught fire science for several years at Northshore Community College and wrote and corrected the civil service exam for fireman.
A member of All Saints Parish and the former Saint Joseph Parish, he was a member and past president of the Essex County Fire Chiefs Association and a longtime member of the Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association.
Burton maintained a life-long interest in local politics and served as a poll warden for Haverhill elections. He was also a member of the Wilbur M. Comeau Post of the American Legion and had served as chairman of both the United Fund of the Merrimack Valley and the Haverhill Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Burton was an avid boater and enjoyed his home on Cow Island at Lake Winnipesauke for 33 years. He was also a golfer and 50-year member of the Crystal Springs Golf Club of Haverhill and later Granite Fields in Kingston, N.H. A member of the bowling leagues at both Saint Joseph Lanes and Pilgrim Lanes, he also enjoyed gardening and had his garden featured in Women’s Day Magazine several years ago.
He leaves his wife of 67 years, Hortense (Archambault) Burton; two sons, Jeffrey L. Burton of Philadelphia, Penn., and Fr. Richard T. Burton, pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish of Georgetown and Saint Mary’s Parish of Rowley; daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Thomas Dupre of Bradford; sister, Elaine Archambault of Methuen; grandchildren Jessie Laliberty and her fiancé Daniel Marsh, William “Willie” Laliberty and his fiancé Charlena Murray and Graham Burton; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his daughter-in-law, Alicia K. Burton and his brothers Alfred Burton and Thomas Burton.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation to Sunday, May 7, from 3 to 6 p.m., at All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial with Full Fire Department Honors takes place Monday, May 8, 10 a.m. in All Saints Church followed by burial with military honors in Saint Joseph Cemetery, Haverhill. Donations in his name may be made to: Haverhill Firefighting Museum, 75 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill, MA 01830.
Arrangements are under the direction of Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill.