Mrs. Helen Burton Vincent


Mrs. Helen Burton Vincent was born May 16, 1920, in her family home in Onley. She was the second child of Vernon Swanger Burton and Loleta Boggs Burton. She graduated from Onancock High School in 1937 and attended Mary Washington College for several years.

Growing up in Onley, Mrs. Vincent’s house was between her grandparents (William A. and Sarah Burton) and her aunt and several cousins (the Waters family) and across the street from another aunt and more cousins (the Parsons family).

At Mary Washington, Mrs. Vincent was a history major. She always enjoyed reading history, biographies, historical novels, and genealogy. She enjoyed studying antiques, playing bridge with friends, and was fascinated by archeology. Her tables were filled with open books, magazines, and crossword puzzles, all of which kept her mentally active until the end.

Mrs. Vincent shared two vivid memories of her student days at Mary Washington. She was living with many other girls in the dormitories when Orson Wells made his famous radio broadcast announcing that Martians had landed in New Jersey. Many of the girls were crying and calling home in distress, but Mrs. Vincent, ever positive and well grounded, did not believe the broadcast. She also recalled the day her father sent her an entire shipping crate of fresh Eastern Shore strawberries. Mrs. Vincent was the most popular girl in her dorm that day.

After leaving college, Mrs. Vincent worked in Baltimore during World War II. She then returned to the Eastern Shore, working briefly at Farmers & Merchants Bank in Onley and for years at the Eastern Shore Citizens’ Bank in Onancock. Mrs. Vincent married Lacy S. Vincent in 1953. They lived just outside Onley until 1960, when the family moved into Mrs. Vincent’s family home on East Main Street in Onley. Later, she worked as an Avon representative, at a jewelry and gift store in Parksley, and as an office manager at an alcoholism treatment center in Onancock.

Mrs. Vincent was a faithful member of Onley United Methodist Church from 1931 until her death. She taught the nursery class for many years, and always loved babies and little children. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Hermitage Guild, and served the Eastern Shore Historical Society as a Ker Place volunteer.

Until her final year, Mrs. Vincent was blessed with excellent health. She lived independently, in a two-story house, cooking her own meals, driving her red mini-van, and walking to church, until she was 97. She will be remembered for her cheerfulness, positive outlook, and her love for others.

Mrs. Vincent is survived by her son, Judge Gordon S. Vincent and his wife, Carol H. Vincent, of Onley, and two grandchildren, Joseph V. B. Vincent, of College Park, Md., and Elizabeth H. Vincent, of Washington, D.C. Also surviving are two nephews, William Butler Burton and John D. Burton, and numerous grandnieces, grandnephews, and their children. She was predeceased by her husband, Lacy S. Vincent (1922-2013); her brother, Joseph A. Burton (1914-1986); and her niece, Delano Burton May.

Private interment will be at the Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Onancock. A memorial service will be held at Onley United Methodist Church, Saturday, Jan.12, 2019, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Charles W. Parks III officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Onley United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 98, Onley, VA 23418.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements were made by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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