Former Oroville resident Elaine (Emry) Burton, age 78, of Clarkston, Washington passed away peacefully on February 11, 2016 at Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston.
Elaine was born on March 8, 1937, in Oroville, Washington to Lloyd and Merna Emry. Elaine was the only girl in a family of five children, and loved growing up around a lot of extended family in and around Oroville. As a graduating senior of Oroville High School in 1955, Elaine won the school’s top honor, the Glover Cup. This cup was awarded to a student for high academic honors, outstanding character, and community involvement. After graduation, Elaine attended Eastern Washington State College (now Eastern Washington University), earning a degree in elementary education and her teaching credentials. Her first teaching job took her to Coulee City, Wash., where she was introduced to Melvin Burton. Elaine started the next school year in the fall of 1960 as Miss Emry, but she finished it as Mrs. Burton; she and Mel were married on November 26, 1960.
By 1964, the family was living in Wilbur, Wash. and had grown to four. Elaine was a full-time mother to son Scott and daughter Jaye Anne, as well as spending time doing short- and long-term substitute teaching around the area. Elaine was also very active in the Community Presbyterian Church in Wilbur. In 1974, Elaine went to work for the Wilbur School District, teaching kindergarten, music, and Title One reading, where she remained until she retired in 1999. Sadly, Mel passed away in September of 1992. Elaine kept active in the church and volunteered often at the school. In 2003, Elaine moved to Clarkston, Wash. where she joined the United Methodist Church and quickly picked up where she left off in Wilbur, singing in the choir and being an active part of the church life.
Elaine is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Clayton and Joyce Emry of Oroville, her son Scott Burton and grandson Cameron Burton of Forks, Wash., her daughter Jaye Anne (Burton) Coffland and son-in-law David Coffland and grandsons Kyle and Conner Coffland of Pocatello, Idaho. She was preceded in death by her husband Mel Burton, her parents, three of her brothers, and her daughter-in-law Carol Burton. A memorial service will be held at the Clarkston United Methodist Church at a later date, and final graveside services will be held in Wilbur, Wash., where she will be interred alongside her husband Mel.
Elaine’s family would like to thank the staff at Tri-State Memorial Hospital, and especially the doctor and nurses in the ICU for their wonderful care and keeping Mom comfortable in her last days. In lieu of flowers any memorial donation may be sent to your local school’s library or music program in Elaine’s name, or to the Ronald McDonald House.