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Cory Burton

In Memoriam: Cory Burton

Photo courtesy of Ben Warrington

Campus community remembers student Cory Burton

Members of the University of Delaware community are remembering Cory Andrew Burton, a student in the University’s Associate in Arts Program in Georgetown, who died suddenly on June 30, at the age of 20.

Mr. Burton had just completed two years in the program as an English literature major.

“The loss of a student so full of promise is heartbreaking,” said José-Luis Riera, UD dean of students. “On behalf of everyone at the University, I extend our deepest condolences to Cory’s family, friends, professors and fellow students.”

From Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 10-12, flags on the Newark campus will be lowered in Mr. Burton’s memory.

Anne Colwell, associate professor in the program, said, “One of the things I loved about having Cory in my classroom was his wonderful sense of humor. He saw the ironies and absurdities in the world, and his laughter, even if restrained, bubbled up into his eyes. Cory wanted to be a writer, and his work showed his love of language and his appreciation for the music and emotion in the words. Cory had enormous intellectual and creative potential. I think that he was just beginning to realize the depth and scope of his own abilities. I will miss Cory, and I think of him often.”

Ethan Joella, who serves on the English and social sciences faculty in the program, said, “I was fortunate to know Cory as a student in my psychology course. He was shy and courteous and always finished his exams first. He had a knack for making everyone around him smile, and I can still see him leaning back to say something to his friend who sat behind him. In his essay, he referred to himself as "a peaceful guy," and I think he hit the nail on the head. It was a pleasure to have him in my class.”

A friend remembers

His friend Ben Warrington, a UD junior from Millsboro, shared this tribute:

“I never could have imagined living in a world without my closest friend, Cory Andrew Burton. Like many of you, I was lucky, I had the privilege to experience the 20-year whirlwind that was distinctively Cory. However, I don’t want to take this opportunity to simply talk about the character of Cory; he was an amazing individual, but anyone that was lucky enough to cross paths with Cory already knows that. Instead, I want to give the readers a look into my eyes, eyes that until now had never seen a world without Cory. 

“My earliest memories of Cory, come from kindergarten; a friendship that never saw a dull moment. From the beginning, Cory always saw the world with an energetically open mind. The bane of Cory’s existence throughout our childhood days was attempting to contain this overwhelming energy in a classroom environment. Paired with strong leadership skills, Cory always had the ability to implicate me in his high jinks; nevertheless, I always admired his spirit. Looking back, I really do feel for our teachers we were an unstoppable force. It would only take about a week or so for our teachers to understand that Cory & Ben could not be seated together. I can recall one middle school seating chart vividly. I was banished to the forward right corner, Cory the back left, and our other childhood friend (and fellow miscreant), Logan, forced to the back right corner. With each turn of our science teacher’s head, a tennis ball from under our chairs would go flying across the classroom. Naturally Ben was the only one to ever be caught in the act (even though I know that the teacher clearly saw Cory throw that tennis ball), but I guess at this point I can let it slide. The tennis balls were promptly removed from the chairs in the science room.

“As we matured, Cory never lost his zealous outlook towards the world, what he referred to as ‘good vibes.’ Cory’s mind was a constant flurry, filled always with the next big idea. Each of these wild ideas, needed to be vetted through someone. One, two, three in the morning, it didn’t matter; Cory’s favorite pastime was waking up an invariably cranky Ben. The last conversation that I had with Cory, along with our other closest friends Jack, Jon, Josh and Colin, was about Cory’s enthusiasm for what we were referring to as an 'idea brunch.' For those of you that don’t know what an idea brunch is, it’s where a group of friends get together to bounce ideas off of one another, in order to help develop each other’s thoughts. I only know this because Cory was very quick to correct me when I let him know that I really didn’t have any ideas for said meeting. In Cory’s own words '[the] idea brunch isn’t about individual ideas, it’s about getting ideas flowing, and building off of each other.' As I sit here, in the small cemetery where my best friend rests, I cannot help but to wonder what next big plan Cory was saving for that coming Sunday. 

“As the tears begin to flow, I know that it’s time for me to begin wrapping up my writing. I wasn’t able to hold myself together at Cory’s funeral, so I’m grateful to be able to put my final goodbye in writing. Cory, thank you for bringing so much love and excitement into my life. In life, you continually pushed me to be a more outgoing, optimistic individual; and in death, you offer a divine light that I continually look to for guidance. As The Beatles most famously said: ‘Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.’”

Cory Andrew Burton

A resident of Millsboro, Delaware, Mr. Burton was born on June 6, 1996, at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Delaware. After attending East Millsboro Elementary School and Millsboro Middle School, he graduated in 2014 from Sussex Central High School, where he participated in tennis, wrestling and cross country. During elementary, middle school and his first year of high school, Mr. Burton was on an Indian River School District Odyssey of the Mind team that won its way to World Finals every year.

He attended Harbeson United Methodist Church with his family, was an acolyte from the age of 7 and participated in the youth group at both Hickory Hill and Harbeson United Methodist churches as a young teenager.

He enjoyed working as a host and server at The Brick Hotel and Restaurant in Georgetown and in his free time loved listening to music and spending time with his friends, especially at the beach.

For many years, he played volleyball and basketball with his father through the IRSD Adult Education program. When he wasn’t working out at home, he was at the World Gym in Millsboro, where he had been a member since he was old enough to join. He also enjoyed his annual family trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Mr. Burton is survived by his parents, Andy and Becky Burton of Millsboro; his sister, Ashley Burton and fiancé Jeff Carr of Newark; maternal grandparents, Glen and Mildred Albert of Harbeson; paternal grandmother Una Lee Burton of Dagsboro; aunts and uncles Jim and Shirley Albert of Street, Maryland, Susan and Clem Eaton of Evansville, Indiana, Glenda and Larry Fischer of Nokesville, Virginia, Gary and Reggie Albert of Manesquan, New Jersey, Donna and Jeff Revel and Debbie Ash of Millsboro, and many cousins and friends.

A funeral service was held July 9 at Harbeson United Methodist Church.

Contributions in Mr. Burton’s memory may be made to Harbeson United Methodist Church, 18647 Harbeson Rd., P.O. Box 45, Harbeson, DE 19951. Condolences may be shared online.  



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