Maplewood Obituaries

Remembering Deborah Burton: a Daughter’s Tribute to Her Mother, Her ‘Heroine’

[Editor’s note: Maplewood resident Deborah Burton, 62, was shot and killed in Newark on March 13. Her murder is still under investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Read more about Burton’s life in this report.  The following is from the eulogy Burton’s daughter, Aiyanna Burton Anderson, gave at the funeral last weekend. Burton had four children and two grandchildren. The family has set up a memorial fund; details are at the end of this article.]

In the Old Testament, in the Book of Judges, Deborah is a heroine. A heroine is a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. In mythology a heroine is a woman of superhuman qualities. My mother is all of these things. She is a superhero. She is my favorite girl. If you know me, you know how much I adore her. She is so sweet, so gentle. She is the strongest person I know. She loved completely, despite people’s faults.

Deborah Burton

She was always smiling. She had the best laugh, which was really more of a giggle. When she spoke, it sounded like a song. She was optimistic and always saw the best in people. She taught me by her example. She taught me strength, how to love, how to smile, how to see the best in everyone. I didn’t really ask much advice on how to be a good mother because I had the ultimate example. Because of that, I am blessed. She loved us so much and did whatever she could for us. I in turn did whatever I could for her, and wanted her to always have the best. I will continue to do my best for her, to make her proud. I’m glad I sound like her, smile like her, look like her, and love like her. I love you Ma, and I’ll be talking to you.


In response to an outpouring of people asking how they can help, the Burton family has established the Deborah Burton Memorial Fund at Princeton University. “Gifts of any amount are welcomed and greatly appreciated…and all donors will be personally acknowledged,” wrote Anderson, a Princeton alumna. Contributions will go toward the Deborah Burton Memorial Scholarship.
Enter the gift amount
In the comment section please write:
“For the Deborah Burton Memorial Fund”
Please send the check along with a cover letter to:
Princeton University
Alumni and Donor Records
Helen Hardy
P.O. Box 5357
Princeton, NJ  08543-5357
Please note in the cover letter or in the memo section of the check that this gift is for the Deborah Burton Memorial Fund.

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