LACONIA — Ethel Marie (Parsons) Burton, 99, passed away peacefully after a short illness on Jan. 24, 2019, in Laconia.
She and Harold (Hal) Burton had been residents of the Taylor Community since late 2014. They were married for 79 years until Hal died in September 2018.
Ethel was raised in Seal Cove (Conception Bay) Newfoundland, the daughter of Richard Parsons and Jenny (Harvey), and was one of five children (Barbara, Richard, Betty and Andrew). Barbara Peet of Holiday, Florida, survives her.
Born in St. John's on July 20, 1919, Ethel married Hal on Aug. 20, 1939, less than two weeks before the start of World War II, on Sept. 1, 1939. In 1942, the couple welcomed their first son, Peter, in St. John's. They moved to Toronto in 1945 where second son, Gary, was born. Hal and Ethel would later live in St. Albans (on New York's Long Island), Brooklyn, New York, and Springfield, Massachusetts, where they welcomed third son, Richard, in 1957.
Following their retirements, Ethel and Hal often hosted family and friends at the home they built in Grantham.
Ethel leaves Peter and Patti Burton of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, Gary and Chris Burton of Meredith, and Richard and Barbara Burton of Skaneateles, New York; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Ethel previously worked at Friendly Ice Cream and Mass Mutual in Springfield. She loved square dancing, skiing, swimming, and knitting. An outgoing woman and voracious reader, Ethel was a member of the Laconia Red Hatters. She and Hal enjoyed traveling when the opportunity arose, sometimes following her children and grandchildren to domestic and foreign destinations. While living in Grantham, she completed the Mile Swim at Eastman Lake three times. Ethel climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia, with one of her grandsons while in her 80s. Always up for a challenge, this energetic woman eagerly embraced all that life offered her.
Donations in Ethel’s honor may be made to the Laconia Salvation Army, PO Box 326, Laconia, NH 03247; or to a charity of one’s choice.