Katherine Irby Burton, 88, Army nurse, homemaker

July 05, 2004

Katherine Irby Burton, a former Army nurse and avid gardener, died June 28 of natural causes at her home on Gibson Island. She was 88.

Born Katherine Irby in Charlotte Courthouse, Va., she grew up in Altavista, Va., and graduated from the former Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing in Roanoke, Va., in 1938.

She moved to Baltimore to train at Johns Hopkins Hospital and then joined the Army. During her service in the Philippines and Australia, she met and married Dr. Wilbur D. Burton Jr., a dental surgeon in her hospital unit.

The couple returned to Baltimore and settled in Guilford in 1950 to raise a family. In 1965, the family moved into a house on Park Avenue, the first floor of which was used for Dr. Burton's dental practice.

After Dr. Burton died in 1972, Mrs. Burton moved into a small ranch house on Gibson Island that had been the family's weekend home.

Mrs. Burton's interests included cooking and gardening. She was president of the Gibson Island Garden Club.

A graveside service was held Thursday at Culpeper National Cemetery in Virginia.

Mrs. Burton is survived by her sons, Wilbur D. Burton III of Gibson Island and Thomas L. Burton of Stevensville, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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