Clayton Burnett

KEENE, NH- Clayton Arthur Burnett, 96, died Wednesday, May 16, surrounded by the love of his family and friends, after a period of declining health.
Mr. Burnett  was born on January 20, 1922, in West Halifax, VT, the fourth of seven children of Archie and Mary (Learnard) Burnett. He grew up on the family farm in West Halifax and graduated from Whitingham High School in 1940 as the valedictorian of his class. He then attended and graduated from the Bay Path Institute of Commerce in Springfield, MA, before enlisting in the Army in November 1942.
Mr. Burnett participated in the Army Specialized Training Program at the Virginia Military Institute and saw service in the European theater as a sergeant in Division Headquarters, 87th Infantry Division, Third Army, from 1942 to 1945.
Mr. Burnett married Madeline Hager of Jacksonville, VT, in 1946. After living for a brief time in Keene, they moved to the Albany, NY, area, where they lived for the next 20 years before returning to Keene in 1968.
Mr. Burnett worked for the Peerless Insurance Company for his entire career, retiring in 1987, and was especially proud of his work for the bond department, including giving seminars about bonds to agents and agency associations throughout the country. While residing in New York state, he was active in youth baseball as the coach of his sons’ baseball teams and as athletic director of the local Little League and Babe Ruth league, as well as volunteering his time for many community and civic organizations.
Mr. Burnett was an avid golfer and longtime member of Keene Country Club, to which he was awarded a lifetime honorary membership after he could no longer enjoy the course. He spent countless hours there on the porch with his friends, sharing stories and bad golf jokes.
Mr. Burnett also enjoyed hunting and fishing, bowling, and playing cards. He was at his best as a host at family celebrations, where he would tell jokes, recount stories of his youth and his insurance career, and raise his glass high in a toast. He also enjoyed antiquing, woodworking, reading, and working on jigsaw and crossword puzzles.
Mr. Burnett loved the beach, his family’s cats and dogs, the beauty of nature, and the joy of family. He especially loved poetry, and until his last day enjoyed reciting poems from his vast memorized repertoire.
As one of seven children, Mr. Burnett had the importance of family instilled in him from a young age, and he in turn, with Madeline, raised his family in the same way. He had a love of learning and always enjoyed a challenge, whether it was in his work, in sports, in fixing things around the house,or in trying to understand today’s turbulent times. Even in his later years, Mr. Burnett remained interested in current affairs and new technologies, regularly checking news headlines, Red Sox scores, and his email on his Kindle Fire.
He is survived by Madeline, his beloved wife, best friend, and companion of 72 years; four children, Jack and his wife Diane, of Peterborough, Rand and his wife Jayne, of Westmoreland, Mary Ann and her husband Dr. Thomas Weisman, of Lunenburg, MA, and Elizabeth Butler, of Keene; five grandchildren, Kara Weisman and her husband David McClure, Emma Weisman, Christopher Burnett, Timothy Butler, and Adam Burnett; his  sister-in-law, Kay Burnett, and brother-in-law, Carleton Barnett; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Mr. Burnett was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Milton, Cortis, Nelson, and Malcolm; and his sisters Bertell Woods and Bernice Barnett. Mr. Burnett also leaves behind a dedicated and compassionate team of caregivers, whom he very deeply appreciated.  
In lieu of flowers friends may wish to make a tax-deductible memorial contribution in Mr. Burnetts’ name to the Halifax Community Club, PO Box 27, West Halifax, VT 05358-0027 or a donation to their favorite charity. 

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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