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Alton's Story

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Mr. Alton Burkhalter, Sr., a resident of Raytown, Missouri, left this life for a life eternal on Thursday morning, October 27, 2016 from his home in Raytown.
Alton Burkhalter Sr. was born January 15, 1930 to Rufus Lee Burkhalter Sr. and Reanna Elizabeth Hutton-Burkhalter the 3rd of thirteen children. He grew up in the Huttonville and Pierce area graduating from Rentiesville High School and later joined the United States Marine Corps and serving a tour of duty in the Korean Conflict until his honorable discharge. He married Zetta Maxine McGriff and to the union twelve children were born, eight sons and four girls who were raised in the Checotah area and graduated from Checotah High School several going on to college, military and professional careers.
Alton spent most of his adult life in the construction and agriculture. Beginning his professional work life in Kansas City then returning to Oklahoma to farm and raise his family to complete his work life in Raytown, Missouri where he retired and lived there until his death. He later met and married his wife of the home Ruby J. Lee-Burkhalter and to that union one daughter Dr. Rebecca Joyce Burkhalter-Wates was raised in Kansas City graduating from Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana then receiving her doctorate from the University of Missouri in Columbia Missouri, upon returning to Kansas City, Alton started his own construction business and retired there.
Alton enjoyed anything outdoors, he was an avid bird hunter and spent many days afield with his sons, friends and his favorite dogs. Alton was quite a marksman with a rifle and would exhibit his prowess on every trip afield, always ready to share his love for the hunt with family and friends. He also enjoyed coon hunting with his sons and friends when they were young and later enjoyed coyote hunting with greyhounds, whatever he did he did it with passion. Alton spent several years competing in rodeos in the sport of calf-roping, he was quite successful and respected by cowboys because of his exceptional horsemanship and roping abilities. His most notable horses were Lover a palomino stallion and a black quarter-horse gelding Blackjack. He later in his career was hired to judge the sport of rodeo and was appreciated for his fairness and understanding of the sport. Alton was a respected businessman in the Checotah area and did custom hay baling, hauling and combining while teaching his sons and other young men good work ethic and the value of hard work and a good name. Alton had a great lifelong friend in Rayfield Robertson who along with Alton was no stranger to hard work and honesty they always enjoyed one another's company and support throughout their lives. Both these men were great role models for the young men growing up in their shadows, being great fathers, mentors and helpers for many young men in the community.
Alton was proceed in death by his parents, one sister Agnes Nalah Burkhalter-Warrior and two brothers Rufus Lee Burkhalter Jr., Cartez Burkhalter Sr., one son Alton Burkhalter Jr. and daughter Bostine Burkhalter-Whitfield, one still born child.
Alton has left to mourn his passing his wife of thirty-five years Ruby J. Lee-Burkhalter, five sisters Vacie Deal, Ada (Charles Sr.) Evans, Sylvia Shirley, Shirley McConico, Alvertis Jackson and three brothers Garnett (Josephine) Burkhalter Sr., Ottway (Belen) Burkhalter, Larry (Margaret) Burkhalter, eleven children Brenda and (Troy Pierce Sr.) of Sperry, OK., Ronald Burkhalter Sr. of Nuevo, CA., James H. Burkhalter and (Ella) of Tulsa, OK., John Burkhalter of Porter, TX., Doyle. Burkhalter Sr. of Wagoner, OK., son-in-law Johnny Whitfield of Okmulgee, OK., Gloria Rea Burkhalter of Checotah, Marcus and (Eletha) Burkhalter of Checotah, Gwen and (Rev. Sanford) Nero of Rentiesville, OK., Cartez Burkhalter of Houston TX., Trenton Sr. (Rolanda) Burkhalter of Houston, TX., Dr. Rebecca Joyce, (Michael) Wates of Raytown, MO. forty grandchildren and seventy great-grandchildren and several great-great grandchildren and a host of friends and family members. I must mention his grand-dog Raisin Wates!
The Hour of Remembrance for Mr. Burkhalter will commence on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 2:00 P.M., in the First Baptist Church of Checotah. The Final Salute will be on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM in the National Cemetery at Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
Friends may convey condolences and sign the online register at www.biglowfunerals.com.
Published on November 4, 2016
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