OBITUARY: RONALD BURTONOctober 13, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Oct. 13, 2003 -- Ronald Burton, former high school and college All-American football player and 2001 Springfield College honorary degree recipient, died Sept. 13, 2003. Burton played high school football in Ohio before receiving 47 scholarship offers his senior year. He chose to attend Northwestern University, where he earned All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons. The New England Patriots selected Burton as their first choice in November of 1959, when the American Football League held its first draft.
Throughout his six seasons with the Patriots, Burton appeared in 69 games. He appeared in every game in 1962 and recorded career highs with 548 yards and two touchdowns on 134 carries. After his career with the Patriots ended, Burton and his family remained in New England. In 1985, Burton purchased several hundred acres of land in Hubbardston, Mass., and built the Ron Burton Training Village, a month-long “training camp” for inner-city and underprivileged youth. Burton attended the 2001 Springfield College commencement ceremonies, where he received an honorary doctor of Humanics degree.