Fort Wayne, IN-- The Komets learned Tuesday that former Komet defenseman Jim Burton passed away early Tuesday morning. Burton, 53, made his home in Evans, Georgia where he worked at Jones Creek Golf Club and helped his wife Sandy operate a flower business.Burton was a member of the Komets during parts of seven seasons in the 1980's. The Brantford, Ontario native was a four-time IHL First-Team All-Star and won the International Hockey League's Governor's Trophy as the most outstanding defenseman of the year three times during his career with the Komets."I had the privilege to watch Jimmy from a fan's perspective during the era he played for the team," Komets general manager David Franke said. "He was an offensive threat every time he touched the puck. Jimmy was a truly great Komet! It is a very sad day in Komet land with his passing."Burton scored 117 goals, 436 assists and 543 points in 545 games as a Komets defenseman. Burton, a two-time Komet MVP, ranks seventh in assists and 12th in points all time during the Komets 63-year history."If you would have lived here during the time Jimmy was here you would have thought he was one of the best players ever to have put on a Komet uniform," Komets president Michael Franke said. Upon retiring as a player, Burton went on to coach in the Western Professional Hockey League and the ECHL.Burton is survived by his wife, Sandy and sons Kelby and Ryan. Services pending.
James Leslie Burton passed away very suddenly Monday, January 6, 2015. He was the beloved husband of Sandra McNeely Burton and the son of William James Burton and the late Jean Clark Burton. Cherishing his memory are sons, Kelby James Burton and Ryan Gregory Burton, and a number of aunts, uncles and cousins.
Jimmy was born November 13, 1961 in Georgetown, Ontario and grew up in Brantford, Ontario. After finishing High School he turned professional, playing hockey for the next 17 years. He started his illustrious career in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he met the love of his life. He was a three time winner of the Governor's Trophy while playing for the Komets. He played in 4 world championships and in the 1994 Lillehammer, Olympics, playing for team Austria. After his playing days, he coached hockey teams in Austin, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, ending in Augusta, Georgia. His family loved Augusta and chose to stay there after coaching. He was Director of Marketing and Corporate Sales for Jones Creek Golf Club in Evans, Georgia. The Jones Creek Golf Family became a second family to Jimmy and his warm smile and manner endeared him to his many friends there. Some of his happiest times were on Jones Creek golf course playing golf with his family and many friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, January 10th at Christ The King Lutheran Church, 4232 Evans to Locks Road, Evans, Georgia. Following the Service the family will receive friends at Jones Creek Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to "Players Benefit Fund" at Georgia Bank and Trust, Po Box 15367 Augusta, GA 30919, (Attn: Evans office) for Kelby and aspiring young tour professionals, or to a charity of your choice.