Ludima Gus Burton, 94, beloved teacher, author, mother and friend, died peacefully in her sleep and in the company of her daughters after a brief illness.
She was born in Farrell, PA, in 1920, where despite the Depression, she had a wonderful life with her siblings and parents, Jenny and Joseph Gus. After graduating in 1938, Ludima attended Hunter College in NYC, and Albany State Teachers College (now SUNY), graduating in 1946, summa cum laude. She taught high school social studies and English at Averill Park and Northville Central, retiring in 1978. She remained an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Ludima loved teaching and was always pleased to be invited to class reunions and see her former students.
She married the love of her life, Guy L. Burton, in 1945 and had two daughters, Daphne and Jennifer. They resided in Northville, NY, which will always be home. After retirement, the couple enjoyed many activities, especially camping in their motor home, until Guy's sudden death in 1981.
In 1991, at 71 years old, Ludima began her second career as an author of "sweet" romances for young adults. She was a charter member of Saratoga Romance Writers (SRWA), where she developed lifelong friendships and perfected her craft.
In 1999, at age 80, she published her first book, "Only for a Year," followed quickly by "The Tycoon and the School Teacher" (2000), "The Love Potion" (2001), "The Wedding Cake" (2005), "A Surgeon's Miracle" (2007), "The Christmas Ball" (2008), "Never a Cougar" (2010), "Drew Gets it Right" (2011) and "Wife: Lost and Found" (2013). Her latest book, "His Son, Her Daughter" (2014), was just released.
In 2000, Ludima received The Eddy 2000 Edward H. "Eddie" Pattison Award for creativity, energy and leadership, and was inducted in the Farrell High School Hall of Fame on November 5, 2005. Always ready to give encouragement, she was a popular speaker at conferences, book signings and events, and her positive and generous spirit will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She loved life, literature, her family and friends, and animals, especially her little dogs, Nikko and Buster.
Ludima lived with her daughter, Daphne, and son-in-law, Peter Zucker, in Fultonville, NY. She is survived by her daughters; son-in-law; her dear sister, Leona Dubay (Hermitage, PA); and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. Ludima cherished her grandson, Mathew Zucker (Amsterdam, NY), and his wife, Lindsay; and was looking forward to the birth of their first child, due in January 2015.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Monday, July 28, 2014, at the Northville Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.northvillefuneralservice.com.