John A. Berton, age 79, of Ottawa, Kansas, died on Tuesday, March 23, 2010. He was born on Sunday, June 22, 1930, in Villa Park, Illinois, the son of Philip Lansdale and Kathryn (Henrickson) Berton.

John lived in Villa Park, Illinois, moving to Chicago, Illinois, Dayton, Ohio, Lombard, Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Terre Haute, Indiana, Ripon, Wisconsin, Ada, Ohio in 1967 and Ottawa, Kansas in 1999.

John attended Chicago City Schools through seventh grade and graduated from Wilbur Wright High School in Dayton, Ohio with the class of 1948. He attended Canterbury College in Danville, Indiana, Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin, University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, earning a BA in 1955 and a PhD in Mathematics in 1964.

John worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Illinois; Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Indiana State University at Terre Haute, Indiana; Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Ripon College and retired as a Professor of Mathematics (Emeritus) from the Ohio Northern University in Ada in 1996.

John served in the U.S. Navy Air Active Reserve and Inactive Reserve; U.S. Army from September 1952, with Basic and Field Wire School at Fort Riley, Kansas. He served in Japan and Korea in the 2nd Amphibious Tank and Tractor Battalion as S2 clerk (intelligence) and was in Korea when the truce was signed. He was separated from active duty as a Corporal in September 1954 and then served in the inactive Army reserve. He earned a Korean Service Ribbon with one Bronze Campaign Star, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and the National Defense Service Medal.

John was a member of Ada Lodge #344, F. & A.M. in Ada, serving as Secretary and Master in 1978, 1995 and 1997; Latham Lodge, F. & A.M. in Kenton; Ada Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Secretary; Excellent High Priest 1979, Kenton Council, Royal and Select Masons, Kenton, Recorder, Kenton Commandery, Knights Templar, Kenton; Ada Chapter #6, Order of the Eastern Star, Ada, Worthy Patron in 1976; Latham Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star in Kenton, dual with Union Chapter, Ottawa, Treasurer; Ottawa Lodge #18 A.F. & A.M. in Ottawa, Kansas, Master and Secretary; Ottawa Chapter, Royal Arch Masons in Ottawa, Excellent High Priest; Ottawa Council, Royal and Select Masons, Ottawa, Illustrious Master; Tancred Commandery, Knights Templar, Commander; Kansas Priory Knights of the York Cross of Honor; Kansas York Rite College; and several Masonic Research Lodges and organizations. He was also a member of Lions Club of Ada, President, Treasurer and Secretary; Lions Club of Ottawa, Kansas, President and Treasurer Emeritus. He served with Boy Scouts of America in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Kansas, serving as Council Advancement Chairman of the Black Swamp Area Council, Findlay. In the Twin Rivers District of the Heart of America, he served as District Commissioner and as Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner. Over a fifty-year period, he served as a Boy Scout and an Adult Scout leader in many other capacities. He is the holder of the Silver Beaver, the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter award, the St. George Episcopal Scout Award, member of Wood Badge, and is a Vigil Member of the Order of the Arrow. He is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and has served on a Bishop's committee in Kenton, a vestry member in Ripon, Wisconsin, Findlay, Bellefontaine, and Ottawa, Kansas. He served as Senior Warden in Bellefontaine and Ottawa, Kansas. He was currently a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Ottawa, Kansas.

On Saturday, August 23, 1952, John was united in marriage with Martha Kathleen Shoemaker in St. James Episcopal Church in Vincennes, Indiana. She survives at home.

Survivors also include three sons: John Andrew (Susan Spero) Berton, Jr. of Novato, California, David Mark (Cheryl) Berton of Phillipsburg, Ohio, and Peter James (Patrice) Berton of Findlay; two daughters: Kathleen (Robert) McGowan of Overland Park, Kansas, and Susan (Frederick) Sherman of Olathe, Kansas; a brother, Philip Lansdale Berton, Jr. of Bensenville, Illinois; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Strasser of LaVita, Colorado; and 12 grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Philip Lansdale and Kathryn Berton.

Funeral services will be held from the Grace Episcopal Church in Ottawa at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Mr. Berton will lie in state at the Dengel & Son Mortuary after 9:00 a.m. Friday, where the family will meet with friends from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Friday evening.

Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Ottawa, Kansas.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Lions Club John A. Berton Scholarship Award, Grace Episcopal Church, or Heart of America Boy Scout Council, c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through dengelmortuary@sbcglobal.net.