Sam Burton was born in Neshoba County in 1922. He married Elvie Cumberland in 1941. In January 1943, he joined the US Army and served two years in the Pacific during World War II on Iwo Jima. In January 1947, he enrolled in Mississippi State University where he received a Bachelor's degree in agriculture education and a Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling.

He taught school in both Neshoba County and Attala County before going to work for Vocational Rehabilitation as a rehabilitation counselor in Greenwood and Kosciusko. Mr. Burton was promoted to state supervisor of rehabilitation facilities of Mississippi and later became Director of Client Services. He retired from Vocational Rehabilitation in 1984.

Mr. Burton was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Ridgeland where he served in many capacities through the years. He was a very active volunteer in the public schools of Madison County where he served as PTA president for 12 consecutive years. He loved sports his entire life and coached both basketball and softball teams. Mr. Burton also officiated high school basketball and umpired softball at the YMCA for over 20 years where they eventually named the softball field after him.

Mr. Burton was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Fannie Burton, his brother Arthur Burton, and his sister Fannie Bea George. He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Elvie Cumberland Burton. He has 4 loving children: Janet Roebuck (Glenn), Rita Hawthorne (Tom), Sam Burton II (Sandy), and Vicki Burton. He adored his 5 grandchildren: Chris Roebuck, Carrie Roebuck, Ben Hawthorne (Jennifer), Matt Hawthorne (Lisa), and Trey Burton. He is also survived by 5 great grandsons.

Visitation will be Wednesday from 10 until 11 at the First United Methodist Church of Ridgeland. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning at the First United Methodist Church of Ridgeland with interment at Jessamine Cemetery.