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Former Clinton Comets forward Burton remembered as equal parts kind and tough

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CLINTON, N.Y. - The Mohawk Valley hockey community has lost an important member of its history as former Clinton Comets forward, Archie S. Burton II, died on Jan. 2 at 89.

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Burton relocated to Central New York in 1955 to begin his professional hockey career with the Comets, and he never left.

Burton played for Clinton, then a member in the Eastern Hockey League for three seasons, from 1955-58, where he appeared in 187 games, scoring 74 goals and notching 112 assists for 186 points.

While playing for the Comets, Burton met his future wife, Regina McManus, a Clinton native, and the couple married on July 27, 1957 at St. Mary's Church in Clinton. Regina passed away in 2018 at age 85.

When his professional career was done, Burton would come out of 'retirement' to play a season in Rome for the Copper City Chiefs, of the New York Amateur Hockey League, in 1975-76.

During his time with Copper City, Burton was line-mates with former long-time Clinton Comets captain Jack Kane, and the two became close friends and eventually business partners.

"He was a friend of mine for almost 60 years," said Kane in a phone interview with NEWSChannel 2. "We played golf together, we went to Cape Cod with our wives together. He's just a wonderful guy, he would do anything for you, and he was a good hockey player. He will be very sadly missed."

Following his playing days, Burton opened a sporting goods store named Sports Center in New Hartford, along with Kane, where he managed the day-to-day while Kane was tending to his coaching duties.

When asked to recount their time together with the Chiefs in Rome, Kane said that while Burton was a very kind man, he was equally as tough, not to be crossed, once he laced up the skates.

"I'll tell you one thing, you don't want to go near him with that stick in his hand because he would carve you open as soon as he looked at you," said Kane with a chuckle. "He was a very good hockey player. He knew how to play his wing, and if anything came along, he was willing to take you on."

Burton spend a lot of his later life playing golf at Skenandoa Country Club in Clinton and on the water at the Otsego Sailing Club in Cooperstown.

He is survived by his two sons, Archie III and Andrew; his grandchildren Andrew Jr. and Allyson; as well as, many nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held to honor and celebrate his life at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at St. Mary's Church in Clinton.

For more information on the memorial services, click here.

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