Morris Hospital Fire Starter of the Month for February

With 629 “likes” and “loves,” 146 comments, and a reach of over 12,400, the Facebook post announcing Morris Hospital’s February Fire Starter of the Month may be their most popular yet.

The honoree was Morris Hospital environmental services associate Howard Burton, 91, who works full-time on the afternoon shift.

“Howard brightens everyone’s day with his friendly personality, compassion, outgoing personality, and smile,” wrote Morris Hospital employee Jaise Reed in nominating Burton as Fire Starter of the Month.

“He is more than willing to help others when it comes to easing their workload and is always willing to help without hesitation. His work ethic is beyond anything I have ever seen. He is someone I strive to be like as I progress in my career.”

A World War II veteran, he had already worked 35 years as a farmer and 16 years as a drill operator at Caterpillar when he joined the Morris Hospital team in 1988. On the job, he makes rounds throughout the hospital collecting dirty linen and trash.

“As his manager, I see Howard exemplifying the hard worker of his generation, doing the job properly and to completion,” Cindy Stubler, manager of environmental services at Morris Hospital said in a news release. “Howard also is the perfect gentleman, respectful and dignified."

He says he hasn’t missed a day in years and he’s never late. And that’s driving 30 miles from his home in Essex.

“I like to be doing something all the time,” Burton admits. “If I’m off work for two days, I’m anxious to get back. I also like everyone I work with, and they seem to like me. I like to ask if everyone’s happy and give a smile.”