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Jimmy Day “J.D.” Burton, age 73, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Friday, July 20, 2018. The son of Dwight Arlo & Norma Jane (Low) Burton, he was born on April 6, 1945 in Great Bend, Kansas.

As a child, JD was very active, he learned to draw, and to play and love golf.  These are a few of the skills that he maintained and improved throughout his life.

He is survived by his Father, Dwight; Brother, Randy Dwight Burton; Sister, Chyrl Jane (Burton) Buck; Son, Nathaniel James & Jillian Burton; his daughter, Nichole Day (Burton) & Kevin Deleon; as well as four grandchildren, Josselyn, Jacob, Joe and Abigail.

JD began his professional life as a draftsman/designer with Lear Siegler in Florida in 1972.  His skills, knowledge, and hard work made him a favorite team member on many projects.  JD traveled the world going from Asia, Europe, to Israel, leading efforts on successively more complex systems and aircraft modifications and modernizations.  By the time he retired in 2006, JD had managed more that 25 complex projects and had been promoted to Project Manager.

Throughout his professional life, JD maintained his love of and proficiency at playing golf.  Upon retiring, he chased the golf play weather; spending summers in Michigan, and winters in San Antonio, Texas.  Travelling between them provided him with the opportunity to visit with family in Kansas. While in Michigan, he joined and actively participated in the Great Lakes Senior Golf Association.  Getting involved as he played ever more, he was elected to the board and was active until this summer.

JD’s wishes were that family and friends would come together to tell stories and remember the person and friend that he was to all.  A wake in J.D.’s honor is going to be held from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on September 15, 2018 at Brann’s, 4157 Division Ave S, Wyoming, MI.

If you are interested, please make your donations to Great Lakes Caring Hospice, 630 Kenmoor Ave SE #200, Grand Rapids, 49546, which provided tremendous support and care to JD during these last few months.  

Honoring his wishes cremation will take place. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jimmy’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

                                                     LONG LIVE THE RATATAN..


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13 Condolences

  1. Sue and Rollie Bouchard on July 20, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    I first met JD when I was in the USAF and he worked at LSi at Eglin AFB in FL. Hard working, perfectionist, hard playing would describe his activities and what he did, After I joined LSi, i found that he was a much more complex person, loyal to his friends, dedicated to his projects, and a great friend. He was an individual that you could count on to deliver the product, and it would be right. And did he love golf, yes. other people can talk to how good he was.
    His humor was always on point, and captivated the audience around him.
    I miss the man, his humor, his dedication to his version of life – work hard; play hard. A toast to a fine individual. Rat-A-Tan!

  2. Brandon de Bruin on July 23, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Your family’s are in our thoughts and prayers. May the Lord place his hand upon you all and comfort you. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. God bless and much love – The de Bruin Family

  3. Sarah Miller on July 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I only met your dad a few times but he was always very nice. Looks like he lived an amazing life!

  4. Mike McDaniel on July 23, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    So sorry for your families loss. Praying for peace during this difficult time.

  5. Ben Johns on July 23, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    I am sorry for your family’s loss. Wishing the Burton family peace and strength.

  6. paul whitthorne on July 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    rip…….sorry for the family loss you was a wonderful and funny guy I still love all you guys again rip and do not miss your tee time

  7. Kristin Smith on July 23, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    So sorry Nate.

  8. Charlie Corder on July 24, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to JDs’ family.
    I enjoyed working with JD in the GLSGA for the past several years.

  9. Richard Smith on July 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    So sorry for your loss Nate and the rest of the family J D was a great friend and fellow golfer.

  10. Casey & Judy DeJong on July 25, 2018 at 10:13 am

    We have enjoyed and valued JD’s friendship for many years thru golf. He leaves a void in our lives and will be sorely missed. He was such an interesting individual!
    Our sympathy to Nate and all of your family in your time of sorrow. May you find comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of JD, that he did not suffer and linger long, and know he is in a better place!

  11. John and Billie Armendarez on July 28, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Our deepest condolences. We worked with JD at Lear/Smiths/GE for many years. He was quite the character and good at what he did. We spent several months on a field assignment to Taiwan with JD and his family. We have very fond memories of those days – just wish we had played golf at that point so we could have enjoyed his favorite game with him. Our thoughts and prayers to JD and his whole family.

  12. Andrew Kroll on August 27, 2018 at 6:41 am

    JDs intellect as a engineer helped make our country safer . His ability to add to the greater good of technology enabled him Think outside the box. A special man he will be dearly missed .

  13. Gary & Frank Yeager on October 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Family & Friends

    I am very saddened by your lost, JD was a good friend and caring person and he will be missed. I will hold the fond memories we had during our time playing golf on the Friday morning Broadmoor Golf League / Great Lakes Senior Golf Association and may our memories live on and bring you and your family peace.

    With Deepest Sympathy

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