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Dr. Robert Tirey BurtonPassing: October 18, 2023


Chastain Funeral Home

Funeral Service

Saturday, October 28th @ 2:00pm


Chastain Funeral Home

Saturday, October 28th @ 11:00am-2:00pm


Mitchell Cemetery

Saturday, October 28th

It is with great sadness that we announce, Dr. Robert Tirey Burton passed away at the age of 93, on the day of Wednesday, October 18, 2023. Robert was born April 18th, 1930, in Mitchell, Indiana. Robert is the son of Willard Eli and Sarah Mahala (Tirey) Burton.

Robert was a Son of the American Revolution, a direct descendant to John Pleasant Burton, Infantry American Revolution Virginia. His family settled in Lawrence County, Indiana, following the Revolutionary War, in what is known as Burton Gap. Robert was baptized in the Liberty Baptist Church located in Mitchell, Indiana. He grew up on the Burton family farms and enjoyed all the activities necessary in running them.

Robert loved growing up in Mitchell. He graduated from Mitchell High School in 1949. He was active in many sports and enjoyed performing in the Mitchell High School Band. He was also honored to be a delegate to Indiana Boy State.  While performing a lead role in a Mitchell High School production he was introduced to his future wife, Maralyn Ann Fletcher, who was playing the female lead role. Upon graduation from Mitchell High School, he and his future wife, Maralyn Fletcher, attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. They enjoyed their studies, participation in the Depauw Marching Band, and other college activities up until Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army, to face combat in the Korean War.  In 1951, Robert married Maralyn Fletcher prior to his deployment, at Jacob Finger United Methodist Church in Mitchell, Indiana. He obtained the rank of Sergeant in the 25th Infantry Division 35th Infantry Regt. L Co. from 1952-1953.

Upon returning to the United States, Robert immediately enrolled into Indiana University, Bloomington Campus. Robert would go on to earn three degrees: Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate of Education. He was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa Educational Honorary Society. He served on the Indiana University Faculty-Bloomington Campus, instructing students enrolled in the Doctoral Program with a finance emphasis. Robert was always interested from a young age in education. He was positively influenced by two family members who achieved the position of University Presidents. Robert was principal of Seymour High School and acting superintendent at the Seymour Community Schools. He was superintendent of Clinton Prairie Schools and Brownstown Schools.

Robert and Maralyn were married on January 13, 1951. They enjoyed raising their three sons, Scott David, Brian Allen, and Thomas Robert. Robert was a dedicated husband and father. He committed to be available for all events in which his family was involved alongside his busy professional career. He showed his wife and sons the world through travel. He encouraged his sons to achieve higher education, which all three did.

Robert was a very generous person and was a generous donor to many philanthropies. He was a life-long sports lover and dedicated Hoosier fan, holding Indiana University football and basketball season tickets over the years. He loved the outdoors, was an avid reader, and was known as a student of history. Robert enjoyed being a member and resident at the Lake and Forest Club, located in Brownstown Indiana, for many decades. His passions at the club were boating, fishing, and serving on the board.

A few of the many achievements include:

Indiana State Public School Principals and Superintendents Association Member

Life Member of Indiana State Teacher Association and National Educational Association

Past Member of Seymour Rotary and Lions Club; The Columbia Club in Indianapolis

And the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis

Served as Jackson County United Fund Drive Chairman, President, and Board Member

Served as President of Southern Hill’s School Study Council

Served many years holding roles in the First United Methodist Church in Seymour, Indiana

Member of: 

Seymour Country Club, Seymour Elks Club,  IU Alumni Club,  The Jackson County Board of Health,  The American Legion,  Indiana School Board Association, the Robertson Scholarship Fund Board

Robert was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Maralyn Ann (Fletcher) Burton, who passed away in 2013; parents, Willard and Mahala Burton; brother, Willard Eli Burton, Jr.; sister-in-law, June Burton; and brother-in-law, David Allen Fletcher.

Robert is survived by his three sons and their families; Scott (Mary) Burton of Fortville, IN, Brian (Susan) Burton of Fishers, IN, and Tom (Julie) Burton of Fishers, IN; six cherished grandchildren, Christina (Thomas) Jackson & children, Leah, Nora; Nicholas (Carolyn) Burton; Andrew (Lisann) Burton; Kelli (Kyle) Smythe & children, Zachary, Ryan; Sarah Burton & children: Kaiden, Maralyn; and Fletcher Burton; sister-in-law, Joan (Ramey) Fletcher; nieces and nephews, Jill (Burton) Thomas, Amy (Burton) Howard, Tony Burton, Mark Fletcher, and John Fletcher; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

Funeral service will be held 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 28, in Memorial Chapel of Chastain Funeral Home & Cremation Center with David Powell officiating.  Military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post No. 250 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9107.  Burial will be at Mitchell Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service Saturday at the funeral home.

Robert will be missed terribly by his family and friends. Thank you Robert for all you have done. You have led a very interesting and meaningful life.

May you rest in peace. We love you!

Memorial Contributions:  Liberty Baptist Church, in care of Chastain Funeral Home

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3 Guest Comments

  1. Guest: Norma Johnson Fielding | West Lafayette, IN
    Date: October 25, 2023
    My mother Shirley Isom Johnson appreciated knowing your father and mother growing up in Mitchell. I have pleasant memories of your family when I was younger. Sorry to hear of your father's death.
  2. Guest: Tony Burton | Indianapolis Indiana
    Date: October 23, 2023
    As a four-year-old I was the ringbearer in Robert and Marilyn‘s wedding. I rehearsed very well the night before, but the day of the wedding I froze when the music started and everybody looked down the aisle at me standing there. I’m not sure how the rings got to the altar.
  3. Guest: Vallerie Nikirk | Oolitic
    Date: October 22, 2023
    Tom, I send my sincere condolences at the passing of your Dad. I inadvertently saw his obituary on a local website. I hope life has been good to you. Peace be with you, Scott and Brian. Vallerie Nikirk