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James Matthew Burton

October 30, 1951 – November 6, 2021

James “Jim” Matthew Burton, age 70, of Germfask, MI passed away peacefully on November 6, 2021, with his loving family at his side.  Jim was born in Manistique on October 30, 1951, the youngest child of George Telford “Tuffy” and Elizabeth “Jane” (Smith) Burton.  He went to Germfask and Manistique Schools and graduated from Manistique High School with the class of 1970.

Jim married the love of his life Dawn Bigwood in Germfask on October 6, 1984 and spent the greater part of his life in Germfask.  He belonged to Germfask Christian Fellowship Church.  For his career, Jim was a Forest Fire Officer for the State of MI DNR.  Many times he was sent to fight fires out west, which required extensive trainings and certifications.  He loved working out west so much he then took additional hunting trips to Wyoming and Montana. He belonged to the Forest Fire Officers Association of Michigan (F.F.O.A.M.).  He served as a volunteer firefighter for Germfask and volunteered at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge.  Jim was an avid hunter and fisherman.  He enjoyed archery and belonged to the Curtis Archery Club, and won numerous regional and state archery awards. He used to say he “cut his teeth on venison bones.” Jim enjoyed attending an annual Memorial Day skeet shoot. He hunted birds and deer, and trapped beaver, muskrat, and mink.

Jim was a proud member of the NRA and loved nothing more than to teach younger children and friends gun safety, how to fish, how to shoot archery, and other outdoor activities.   He was always there to lend a hand for friends and neighbors, whether for personal or community projects.  He could tell tall tales with the best of them!  Any friend of Jim quickly became family.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years Dawn Burton of Germfask; his son James “Jamie” (Michelle) Zellar of Newberry, MI, daughters Marla (Brian) Zellar-Zatloukal, Chelsea Burton of Traverse City, MI, and Lauren Burton of Newberry, MI; sister Tina Cheeseman of McMillan; grandchildren Ryan Zellar, Bailey Zellar, Chase Zatloukal, Hilde Zatloukal, and 7 honorary grandchildren: Faith, Zeke, Levi, Ezra, Serenity, Selah, and Zebediah. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Herbert “Herb” Burton, Norman “Bud” Burton, Charles “Charlie” Burton, William “Bill” Burton, Harry Burton, and sister Theresia McGahan and 8 other infant siblings.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date at the convenience of the family.   Memorial contributions can be made in Jim’s name to the Germfask Christian Fellowship Church, State Hwy 77, Germfask, MI 49836.

Fausett Family Funeral Homes of Manistique, is assisting the family with arrangements.  Condolences may be posted on their website at www.fausettfh.com.