Robert Smith Burton ’43

Robert Smith Burton ’43 died on August 4, 2003, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Born on November 2, 1921, in Cleveland, he prepared for college at Shaker Heights High School there and became a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Bowdoin. He attended Bowdoin from 1939 to 1942 before serving in the United States Navy and then the Marine Corps for three years during World War II, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. In 1945, he received his bachelor of arts degree cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and as a member of the Class of 1943 while still in the Marine Corps. In 1946, he was a teaching fellow in government at the College, and in 1949 he graduated from Harvard Law School. After practicing from 1949 to 1951 in Cleveland as an associate with the firm that eventually became Arter and Hadden, he served for two years on active duty with the Marine Corps during the Korean conflict, attaining the rank of major. He returned to Arter and Hadden in 1953, became a partner in 1961, and remained with that firm until his retirement in 1985. He served as president of Children’s Services in Cleveland, as president of the First Unitarian Church and as chair of the Shaker Heights Citizens’ Committee on School Board Candidacies. In retirement he was treasurer and a member of the board of Case Western Reserve University’s Association for Continuing Education. In Bowdoin affairs, he was president of the Bowdoin Club of Cleveland and director of Cleveland area activities for the Bowdoin Alumni Schools and Interviewing Committee (BASIC). Surviving are his wife, Sally Finley Burton, whom he married in 1949; a son, John F. Burton of Cleveland; and a daughter, Jane E. Burton of Boulder, CO.