One of Hirsch High School’s first African-American graduates and the owner of several financial services companies, Archie Burton will be remembered during his wake and funeral services Friday, August 19 at the Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St., Chicago. The wake begins at 10 a.m. followed by the service at 11 a.m..
Mr. Burton, described by family and friends as “a man who lived life on his own terms,” often showed up at parties and would take over grilling duties, or become the bartender, or regale the attendees with all kinds of entertaining stories, whether they were about local politics, the world of sports, or his favorite-business deals, according to Jeanette Simpson, a family friend.
He re-married his long-time friend and former wife, Joyce Whitfield on July 2. He celebrated his 80th birthday July 15. His wife said he died of natural causes.
Good Samaritan Referral Services and B and B Financial Consultations were among his most recent businesses. He had been self-employed or a partner in several financial services business since he was in his 20s, Ms. Whitfeld recalled. “He had an uncanny knack of reinventing himself, she added. At one point, his reinvention found him working as a photographer for a local newspaper. Mr. Burton’s business acumen resulted from him being exceptionally close to his grandfather, Chester Smith, a resident of Houma, LA. Mr. Burton often shared that many described his grandfather as being ahead of his time for a Deep South business owner in the Jim Crow era. An Impeccable dresser. and former athlete, Mr. Burton was extremely proud of his southern heritage.
His mother, Lillian and step-father Thomas Rooks, moved to 7128 S. Eberhart in 1945 when Mr. Burton was 11 years old. He graduated from Carter Elementary School in 1950 and Hirsch in 1954. As he matured Mr. Burton traveled extensively and became a jazz aficionado. He also enjoyed boating and took tremendous pride in being able to host parties and special events ranging from a handful of friends to hundreds of guests.
Mr. Burton was preceded in death by his parents; two sons, Daniel Burton and David Burton, and is survived by his wife, Joyce Whitfield Burton; sons, Leon “Rod” Harris and Archie Philip Burton (Kristin); 9 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren, several cousins, nieces and nephews and countless long-lasting and enduring friendships.