WBU Mourns the Loss of Chief Burton


Head shot of Chief Burton
Wayland Police Chief Lonnie Burton

The Wayland Baptist University family was saddened by the loss of WBU Police Chief Lonnie Burton on Monday, June 25. Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 29, at College Heights Baptist Church with Gary Yates and Jason Smith officiating. Interment will follow in Plainview Memorial Park under the direction of Kornerstone Funeral Directors of Plainview.

Burton was the first chief of the WBU Police Department which was formed in 2009. He came to Wayland after serving more than 32 years with the Plainview Police Department, retiring from his position as captain of patrol.

Burton was also a graduate of Wayland. He originally enrolled in 1972, but took a hiatus from education to work in law enforcement. He later returned to school and completed his degree in 1987.

With experience as a police captain and with emergency management training, Burton was a logical choice as Wayland looked to form its own police force. In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2006, the Texas legislature passed a law enabling private colleges, like Wayland, to commission and maintain a police force. Until that time, only state schools had been allowed to do so. Burton was key in building the Wayland force.

Chief Burton was born Jan. 24, 1954 in Olton. He married Kathy Yates on June 20, 1981 in Lamesa. He joined the Plainview Police Department in July of 1976 where he worked until his retirement in 2009. A member of College Heights Baptist Church where he taught Sunday School, Burton loved to visit with Wayland students while making his rounds on campus. His wife works in the Wayland Business Office.

Burton was preceded in death by his mother, Janice Burton, and a brother, Ronnie Burton. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; father, Verdell Burton of Norman, Okla.; daughter Jennifer Marvel and husband Kristopher of Canyon; son, Justin Burton and wife Chelsea of Plainview; and three grandchildren, Braxtyn Burton, Zane Halcomb-Burton and Kristen Marvel.

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