We are deeply saddened to report that Bob Burton, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother and friend, dedicated Board Member of Code 3 for a Cure, and previously a Training Captain with the Yakima Fire Department, passed away on Christmas Day after battling melanoma. Bob will forever be a Hero. Here is his story as printed in the Yakima-Herald:
Bob was born October 28, 1955 and raised in the Yakima Valley, graduating from West Valley High School in 1974. In high school he played football and tennis and participated in youth ministries. He shared his father’s mechanical abilities and loved cars, which led him to Wyoming Technical Institute to become an auto mechanic. He worked for Lynch Motors for many years, taught auto mechanics at Yakima Valley Community College and was a pit crew member for Don Dowty’s racing team based out of Yakima. Though he was an avid race car fan, his desire to start a family was stronger. He resigned from his racing family to start his own and in 1982 he had a son, Cody.
In January of 1984, Bob began his career as a firefighter for the City of Yakima. He was passionate about the challenges of the job, enjoyed taking care of people in their time of need and especially enjoyed the people he worked with. His desire to take care of his fellow firefighters would be one of his driving motivations to seek advancement with his first promotion to Lieutenant occurring in 1993 and eventually ascending to the rank of Captain in 1998. As a Captain, he reveled in the opportunity to take care of and teach his fellow firefighters.
In 2000, Bob met his soulmate, Peggy Boushey. They would be married in the summer of 2001 and with his only child moving on to college, he savored the chance to raise a family again and became a father to her 3 girls, Camille, Lauren and Genevieve.
He eventually retired from the Yakima Fire Department in June 2011 at the rank of Training Captain, moved to Whidbey Island with his family and embarked on a new career with Emergency Reporting, a Bellingham based company that works with fire departments across the country. He initially started out as a Trainer but rapidly ascended to the position of Product Owner due in no small part to his ability and desire to take care of and mentor the people that worked for and with him. Bob continued to work with and care for his people until he found himself in a position where he couldn’t work anymore.
Bob defined himself by his passions. Family, friends, racing, firefighting or cancer outreach, he did his best to not only maximize his opportunities but help those around him. One of the main manifestations of his work was with Code 3 for a Cure. This not-for-profit organization raises awareness to frontline fire service personnel across the country of the dangers of job-incurred cancer. He demonstrated, through even his most trying times, the desire to raise awareness among his fellow brother and sister firefighters the dangers of cancer.
In the beginning of 2017, Bob was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. Bob had fought melanoma cancer off and on since his initial diagnosis when he was 40. Unfortunately his cancer, which is common among firefighters continued to grow despite his tenacious outlook. On Christmas of 2017 he passed with family next to him. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alex and Aggie Burton. He is survived by his sister Effie Burton, wife Peggy, his step-daughters Camille, Lauren, and Genevieve whom he raised as his own, son Cody Burton, daughter-in-law Ali and his grandchildren which he adored, Katie, Olivia and Henry.
Services to honor Bob will be held at Stone Church located at 3303 Englewood Ave., in Yakima on Friday, February 9th at 1:00 PM.
MISSION OF HONOR AND HOPE
FIREFIGHTERS & FAMILIES UNITED AGAINST CANCER
Coming together to call attention to occupational cancer in the fire service and to raise donations for CODE 3 FOR A CURE. Support our cause here.