“Oh when, by His grace, I shall look on His face – Oh, that will be glory for me!”
We take these bittersweet moments to announce the home-going of a dear wife, a beautiful mom, loving nan and precious sister – Shirley Hilda (Bath) Burton. Shirley slipped peacefully into the presence of her Lord and Saviour at her family home in La Scie, NL on Friday, December 18th, 2020 at the age of 76 years.
Shirley began her life on the Horse Islands, NL, where she was born on March 8th, 1944, one of eight children to George and Gertie Bath. Growing up on a secluded rock in the middle of the Atlantic wasn’t a prime picture of wealth and opportunity but the Bath’s wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Shirley reminisced often of her days on the island from her childhood to her teenage years and even into adulthood. From their games at the waters edge, to the life of the church, to family shenanigans and tons of mischief with her best friend, Joan – Shirley held a strong spot in her heart for “the island”. Though the memories of those days brought many smiles to her storytelling, there were also tears shed in the midst of some heartache. Grief struck Shirley and her family when they lost her brother, Lewis to the sea at a very young age and again tragedy stuck the Bath family as her father died suddenly before resettlement in the early 1960’s.
Sometime after, Shirley and her family moved to the semi-mainland and settled in La Scie. It was there where she began to paint her beautiful life and create a lasting legacy. Shirley met and stared courting Bond Burton in the early 60’s and they were married in September 1962. It wasn’t long, when they welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby girl. A couple years later they decided to grow their family and had two precious baby boys who were the centre of her world. Life in La Scie was good – Bond worked in the mines in Tilt Cove and fished while Shirley stayed back tending to matters of the home. Later, Shirley began work at the local fish plant where she was employed for many years. They had all they needed, all they ever dreamed of – a healthy family, their needs provided and a community of extended family and friends who made life incredible.
Shirley was a woman of faith, a woman of prayer and a woman who believed that no task was too big for her God. In 1999, after months of pain and struggle, Shirley was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer in the forth stage that was ravishing her body very quickly. Doctors thought she wouldn’t pull through, but thank God, doctors don’t own the stamp of finality! In October 1999, Shirley was completely healed of cancer – though the situation was bleak, though there was no hope of survival, the Lord spoke and cancer was summoned to leave her body! The last twenty one years had still been tough for Shirley, however, complications from back surgeries had left her with limited mobility and constant nerve pain, but not one time did her faith waiver.
Shirley was a faithful member of her church and its livelihood for many years – both services on Sunday, Tuesday night prayer meeting, midnight prayer meetings and Women’s Ministries. She was a supporter of her church financially, vocally and prayerfully, even when she couldn’t attend any longer, her church was always one of her greatest concerns. “A Woman of Faith” no few words could describe her better – even after she went through cancer, numerous surgeries and deteriorating health for years, not once did her faith waiver, not once did she quit believing that God was able to deliver her – the beat of her heart was that of Job – “though you slay me, still I will worship!” Shirley was the purest definition of a prayer warrior – we’d never be able to count the times each of us have walked into the old house or into the cottage to hear her whaling to the Father on behalf of her family. Her hearts plea was that her family would know God. Even as she lay under the dew of death, those words were what she would muster stronger than any other.
Her family was her life and she cherished visits with them and meals spent together. One of the highlights of Shirley’s life, especially in her later years, was Christmas Eve with her family. She loved the food and the conversations, but her eyes would light up and the song requests would start rolling once Bond and the boys got the music going. She would be bawling out some old Christmas carol and Bond would be going off with “the Mummer Song”. It wouldn’t be long before everyone else would be tired of singing and playing and she’d say, “aaaaaattt, sing another one!” Whenever the family would visit, even if you were there half the day, it was never long enough. She’d always say, “where ya going now? Sure there’s lots of time!”. She cherished her family and always spoke highly of each one of them – it didn’t matter where they went, what they did, there was no one in the world like her own crowd. Distance separated her from her siblings, but oh how she’d loved to talk to them on the phone and on FaceTime – sharing news of their families, the duties of the day and reminiscing on years past. She dearly loved her brothers and sisters, there was no doubt about that. Of course, after marrying Bond, she inherited a whole new nation of siblings and how she loved them all, especially the many hours spent with Doreen & Betty. One of the highlights of Shirley’s day was when Joan would come to visit. Joan was her unhired help! They would spend hours in conversation about things that didn’t really matter, but this meant the world to Shirley. When her siblings began to relocate and other family began to have their own share of health issues, Joan became a constant in her life, her best friend, her ear to listen and her shoulder to cry on. She cherished their relationship.
In November of this year, Shirley began to become ill and deteriorate quickly. After numerous tests we received the dreaded news – cancer. Shirley decided that she wasn’t going to fight this time, she believed if it was God’s will, she would be healed and if it wasn’t His will, she was very confident in what awaited her. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and with current restrictions making things a little tougher, we decided as a family that we would prepare her home for the end of this life, so that when the time was here, it would be a simple transition from her temporary home to her forever-home, Heaven. Today, we don’t grieve as those without hope! Sure, our hearts are breaking from this earthly separation, but we stand on His word, that there is a day quickly approaching where we shall behold the glories there!
Shirley is predeceased by her parents – George & Gertie (Greenham) Bath; parents-in-law – Edwin & Gertrude Burton; brothers – Lewis Bath and Pastor Leslie Bath (Fay); siblings-in-law – Ella Inder (Chesley), Rita Hamlyn (Gordon), Marina Gray, Randolph Burton (Hazel), Robert Burton (Mildred), Clarence Burton (Clara), Lloyd Burton (Ruby), Ralph Burton (Idella), Jerry Andrews, Roy Gillingham and very special sister-in-law – Marg Bath.
Left to cherish a beautiful life is her husband of 58 years – Bond Burton, La Scie, NL; children – Sheila Foster (Doug) and David Burton, both of Fort McMurray, AB and Eugene Burton (Jane), La Scie, NL; grandchildren – Mark Foster, Holly Severance, Lucas Burton and Noah Burton (Riley); siblings – Willis Bath (Greta), Mabel Andrews, Otis Bath (Claudine), Golda Ward (Chesley) and Vay Bath (Emily); siblings-in-law – Jim Burton (Marion), Doreen Morey, Betty Noseworthy, Kathleen Gillingham, Louise Gillingham (Ralph), Fern Bath and Raymond Gray; childhood friend – Joan Stuckless (Norm); special friend – Christine Rice (Harris); homecare workers – Sharon Critch and Roxanne Lush as well as an incredibly large circle of nieces, nephews, extended family, church family and friends.
The Burton Family extends a warm welcome to all those who wish to visit the church. Public Visitation will take place at Bethel Pentecostal Church, La Scie, NL on Monday, December 21st, 2020 from 2:00PM-4:00PM and 7:00PM-9:00PM, following specific guidelines pertaining to the global pandemic and associated restrictions.
Pastor Jamie & Angela Payne, assisted by Pastor Hurid & Phyllis Bennett will conduct A Service of Home-Going and Celebration at Bethel Pentecostal Church, La Scie, NL on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 1:00PM. Due to the global pandemic, the service will be limited to immediate family and invited guests. Interment will follow at Bethel Pentecostal Cemetery, La Scie, NL.
As an expression of sympathy, flowers will be accepted or donations may be made in Shirley’s memory to the Bethel Pentecostal Women’s Ministries Outreach, P.O. Box 51, La Scie, NL A0K 3M0.
We extend our hearts full of gratitude to Doctor Clancy and the beautiful nurses of 4A and 3B at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for their attentive care and loving support. To the staff of the Baie Verte Peninsula Health Centre, we could search the world and never would we find a team more compassionate – from the very bottom of our hearts, we thank you. Roxanne, Sharon and Kim were so good to our Mom – they treated her like royalty, we would never, ever truly be able to express our thanks to you!
We love you, we love you, we love you! We will see you in the morning! xxoo
December 18th 2020
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Shirley Hilda Bath Burton December 18th 2020..
Décès pour la Ville: Baie Verte, Province: T-N