In memory of
Lamkin, Burton 4/1/1932 - 9/24/2020 Burton Morrison Lamkin, 88, passed away peacefully at home in the early hours of September 24, 2020 with his family by his side. Burt was born on April 1, 1932 to Beatrice and L. Dale Lamkin and raised on their farm in Good Hart Michigan along with his older brother, Keith. His mother was their teacher for six years in a one-room schoolhouse. Despite a year-long battle with polio when he was nine, Burt played high school football and graduated from Harbor Springs High School in 1950. Burt received his BA at Albion College, while working three jobs to support his education. He was a Who's Who, Freshmen Class President, Junior Class Treasurer, YMCA President, a member of the Campus Religious Council, in the Albion College Players, and played football. He was also a member of TKE fraternity and worked successfully to change the member exclusion policy in the National Organization. While at Albion, Burt met the love of his life, Sally. Burt and Sally married three weeks after graduating in 1954 and moved to Boston where Burt attended the Boston University School of Theology for a year, with the intent to become a minister. After a year, Burt realized his calling was in education, ultimately deciding that he "didn't need to be a minister to minister". Burt and Sally returned to Michigan where he began his career as an educator, first in Battle Creek Lakeview as a Science teacher. While there, Burt managed the Wesley Woods Methodist Camp as well as serving as an Assistant Minister at the Battle Creek UMC. He also delivered milk (including to a nudist camp!) While in Battle Creek, Burt and Sally welcomed their first born, David, in 1955. Burt was then hired in Ann Arbor Public Schools, teaching Science at Tappan Junior High School beginning in 1957. In the next two years, Burt and Sally welcomed their two daughters, Ann (1957) and Cate (1958) into their lives, completing their family. Five years later, he moved to Abbot Elementary School, where he taught Sixth grade. Burt was the recipient of a National Science Foundation grant, thus spending two summers with his young family in Iowa in graduate school, later completing his master's at University of Michigan. Burt was then appointed as the first principal of the newly built Lawton Elementary School. After several years at Lawton, Burt was also principal at Thurston, Newport, and then retired from Wines Elementary School in 1990. Burt was nominated for several awards as an educator, such as the Outstanding Practicing Principle award and Ann Arbor Citizen of the Year. He was admired by teachers, parents, administrators, custodians, bus drivers, and of course his students. Descriptions of Burt always included words such as, Dedicated, Fair, Honest, Understanding, Empathetic, and a Humanitarian. He was known for always keeping an open line of positive communication. He went beyond his expected duties, including establishing the first in-building classroom programs for special needs students, helping to implement a nature center at Thurston, and supporting/acting in the Thurston Players. Burt also created the first district wide wellness program for all staff members. Using his love of flying, Burt reward ed hundreds of students with airplanes rides for positive school participation. Flying was a passion for Burt, and he enjoyed many years as a flight instructor and member (and president) of Ann Arbor Flyers. He logged over 7000 hours of flight time. He used his flying skills for many humanitarian services, such as a state-run program airlifting Christmas gifts to children in foster homes around Michigan. He also flew numerous missions of mercy, such as piloting a mother to visit her incarcerated son in Missouri on Mother's Day, flying the former CHS Dean to Alpena when four of her students were killed in a tragic accident, and shuttling a minister to a remote area where a parishioner had suffered a heart attack. Burt was very devoted to community involvement. He was an active member of West Side United Methodist Church, Interfaith Hospitality Network Shelter Program at Alpha House, Delonis Community Center, Salvation Army, and Ann Arbor Flyers to name only a few. Burt and Sally were involved in Mission work through the United Methodist Church. Burt led ten of their eleven trips, to Belize, the Czech Republic, India, Louisiana, Mexico, five trips to Russia, and included his 14-year-old granddaughter on a mission trip to Siberia. Burt was bestowed many awards for volunteerism and humanitarianism over the years. Those that knew him understood it was just his way of "giving back", which he did selflessly and quietly. Besides all his work and activities, Burt and Sally spent every summer with their children up north at the family cottage in Good Hart, creating a lifetime of wonderful, warm memories. Survivors include Burt's beloved wife and best friend for over 66 years, Sally, along with son David, (Lynn Suits), Ann (Tom Ferranti), Cate, (Rob Garrett), two grandchildren, Sarah Hewett, (Nick Hewett), and Ian Garrett, one step-grandson Carl, and one great-granddaughter, Adalyn Hewett, along with many nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service is pending and will be announced in the Ann Arbor News. Memorial Donations may be made to Arbor Hospice, West Side United Methodist Church, or to the RFC Fire-Rescue at 8338 Robinson Road, Harbor Springs, MI 49740.
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