Jimmy Dean Burton


Cherokee County Deputy Sheriff Jim Burton began his new life with our Savior on Easter morning, April 21, 2019. Born April 3, 1947, in Bartlesville, Jim joined the U.S. Navy immediately after high school, serving during the Vietnam War.

After completing his military commitment, he married Margaret Luinstra and began a career in law enforcement, faithfully serving his community for 50 years. In 2008, he was awarded Outstanding Officer of the Year by the Tahlequah Elks Lodge No. 2601 for his service with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office.

Jim is survived by his wife of 50 years, Marge, of the home; two sons, Jim Burton II of Hulbert, and Scott Burton of Tulsa; three grandchildren, Jessyca Burton of Welling, and Jacob and Jordan Burton of Hulbert; a sister, Linda Edwards of Mannford; and three brothers, Richard Burton of Whitman, Arizona, Johnny Burton of Tulsa, and Christopher Burton of Okesa.

Jim considered himself to be a "peace officer" and this showed in his everyday work. Early in his career, he broke up a brawl in a bar parking lot and told everyone to "just go home."

One of the group pulled a knife and slashed the tire on his patrol vehicle.

In his usual mild manner, Jim stated, "Now why'd you want to go and do that? Now I have to take you to jail."

Jim loved his children and grandchildren dearly, and frequently publicly thanked God for the joy they brought into his life. Jim never met a stranger and took great pleasure in helping others, whatever their need or circumstance. He freely gave of all he had, asking God to give him more so he could give more to others.

He gave generously and sacrificially to the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, John 3:16 Mission and the Salvation Army. The more he helped others, the happier he became. Jim had a true servant's heart and it showed in his everyday life.

Funeral services will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 25, 2019, at First Baptist Church, Tahlequah, with Cherokee County Sheriff Chaplain Scott Wolff officiating.

Jim's earthly body will be laid to rest among the heroes at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery, honoring Jim's belief that "We don't know them all, but we do owe them all." Pallbearers are Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies. Services are under the direction of Green Country Funeral Home, where Jim's earthly body may be viewed.

"Who then can ever keep God's love away? If we have trouble or calamity, if we're hungry or sick or penniless or imprisoned or threatened with death, does that mean that God doesn't love us any more? Oh no, for I am convinced that nothing can ever keep God's love away. Death can't - angels won't - and all the power of hell itself cannot keep God's love away. Our worries about tomorrow, our fears about today, where we are - high above the sky or in the deepest ocean - there's just nothing that can ever separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-38).
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Published on April 22, 2019
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