Henry ‘Gene’ Burton Sr. Dies at 80 in Anchorage

Henry E. “Gene” Burton Sr.

Henry E. “Gene” Burton Sr., passed away on Feb. 11, 2021, at the Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage,. He was 80.

Gene, known as “Buddy” in Tennessee, was the younger twin born on Oct. 4, 1940, in Jackson County, Tennessee, to Richard Cecil and Mattie Lou (Norton) Burton. 

Education was always important to their family, as his father had a third grade education and his mother an eighth grade education. Gene graduated from Cookeville Central High School in 1959 and immediately joined the United States Air Force.

While stationed at Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, working as a medical clerk, he met Adeline June Williams of Sitka, who was working as a licensed practical nurse at the Alaska Native Service Hospital in Anchorage. They were married Nov. 12, 1960, at the Anchorage Courthouse – they celebrated their 60th Anniversary this past  November. He was adopted into the Chookaneidi, Wandaa Hit of Hoonah, and given the name of Adeline’s father, Frank O. Williams Sr., Leidoojée.

After moving to Sitka in 1978, Gene worked with the United States Post Office and retired in 1985 after a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed. After recovering, he spent many years helping friends repair radios and CBs as well as advocating for disability rights. 

He was a proud lifetime member of the American Legion Post #13, serving over the years as Post Commander, Judge Advocate and Club Manager.

He always had encouraging words for friends and family and lived his life by example, always working hard and living a life filled with dignity and purpose.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sons: Michael Jayson Burton, born Feb. 22, 1964, Dennis Wayne Burton, born July 20, 1965, and Stephen John Burton, born August 5, 1967; his older twin sister Della Gerelene Wiley and his sister Ruby Lee Hargis; and brother Floyd Crawford.

He is survived by his wife Adeline Burton, son Henry E. Burton Jr., daughter Pam (Scott) Steffes and granddaughters Haylee and Delainey Steffes of Sitka; his sister-in-law June (Randy) Kinney and brother-in-law John O. Williams of Anchorage, and sister-in-law Alice Phipps of Tennessee. He has many beloved nieces and nephews.

Due to COVID-19, a private family burial is planned at Sitka National Cemetery, followed by a reception at the American Legion. Pallbearers are: Larry Fitzsimmons, Harvey Kitka Sr., Scott Steffes, John O. Williams, Leonty Williams and Rich Williams.

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At a Glance

(updated 1-12-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 11:55 am Wednesday.

New cases as of Friday: 2,512

Total statewide – 172,329

Total (cumulative) deaths – 955

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,337

Current Hospitalizations – 103

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The COVID alert rate for Sitka is “high,” based on 153 new COVID cases in the past 7 days. Case statistics are as of Sunday.

New cases in Sitka – 34

Cases in last 7 days – 153

Cumulative Sitka cases – 1,531

Deceased (cumulative) – 6

The local case data are from the City of Sitka website.





January 2002

Classified ads, Rentals: 3-bdrm. house on the beach. $900; 3-bdrm duplex, washer/dryer $945; Great downtown house, 2 bdrms., 2 baths, furnished,
W/D, hardwood floors $850; 2-bdrm. roomy apartment $945..


January 1972

The City and Borough Assembly Tuesday approved an ordinance establishing a transportation committee to advise the assembly and promote transportation services for the municipality. Members are Cecil McClain, Ray Mabey, Clarence Kramer,
Dick Cushing and Burt Hansen.