Mary Duffy Sheaffer Burton, 81, passed peacefully in her home on Saturday, January 9, 2021, and went home to God's glorious Kingdom. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 20 years, Laurent (Larry) N. Horne in July 2019. Born in Lancaster, Mary was the beloved daughter of H. Harold and Katharine (Kitty) Sheaffer.
Mary was a true pioneer, having started H.D.J. Company at an incredibly young age in 1960. The company designed and manufactured precision machine parts. Mary expanded and developed the company through the years, eventually focusing operations on manufacturing highly specialized medical devices and implants. Mary worked extremely hard, continually innovating, improving, and growing a world class business. H.D.J. over time transformed into Specialized Medical Devices and Implants. Mary sold her successful business to an international corporation and formed her most recent company, M.D.I. in 2012 with her son, Edward. Mary continued to be actively involved in the company through 2018. She was a devoted and admired employer to many, respected and loved by many long-time trusted employees and considered a leader and guru in the industry by her colleagues. In the 1990's, Mary was recognized as one of the 50 most influential people of the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry. Mary was awarded the Golden Micrometer Award in 2008, the highest lifetime achievement award from The Precision Machined Products Association of America.
As enterprising as Mary was in her business endeavors, she was equally active and energetic with her community and social pursuits. Mary was known as a fabulous hostess for her many events for charities and friends at her beloved home Buttonwood. She brought amazing style, glamour, and excitement to all her efforts. She had a great appreciation for flowers and created beautiful grounds she loved to share with others. Her patio parties surrounded by her stunning gardens topped off with Larry's magnificent fireworks, made for many special memories with friends and family, near and far. People loved basking in Mary's generous and warm spirit and Mary was a true and loving friend to many.
Mary was passionate about music and the arts, and the Lancaster community, of which she was a lifelong resident. Mary led and served on many boards and committees for organizations including The Demuth Foundation/Lancaster Museum of Art, The Fulton Theatre, The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Woodward Hill Cemetery, Historic Rock Ford, The Long Home, The North Museum, Milagro House, The Lancaster General Health Foundation, Lancaster General Healing Arts Commission, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster, Lancaster Farmland Trust, Lancaster History, Lancaster Summer Arts Festival, Hourglass Foundation, Opera Lancaster, Lancaster International Piano Festival, Pennsylvania Academy of Music, and many Music In the Home events which she and the "Salon Gang" so enjoyed. Mary made generous contributions in time, energy, and hard work to the organizations that meant so much to her, and all were the better for it.
Mary loved to travel with her family to Sea Island, GA; Bethany Beach, DE; and Los Angeles, CA. Mary was a member of Historic Saint Mary's Church, The Hamilton Club, Lancaster Country Club, Bent Creek Country Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, and The Junior League of Lancaster. Mary attended Sacred Heart School, Lancaster Country Day School, and Franklin and Marshall College.
Mary is survived by her children, Elizabeth Duffy Johnson, Lititz; Mary Burton (James) Mays of Los Angeles, CA; and Edward (Heidi) Burton, Lancaster; her cherished grandchildren, James, Michael, and Dr. Katharine (Katie) Burton, Christi and Taylor Johnson (son-in-law Don), Dr. Amanda Mays, Savannah (Austin) Smucker, Bethany and Tyler Burton, and her adored great-grandchildren, Addison and Easton Smucker. In addition to Larry, Mary was preceded in death by her prior husband Edward L. Burton, her sons, Harold S. (Cindy) Burton, John S. Burton, and her sister, Barbara D. Sheaffer Atlee.
Family and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.at Historic St. Mary's Catholic Church, 119 S. Prince St., Lancaster with Rev. Brian T.C. Olkowski officiating. Attendees are asked to follow CDC and PA guidelines by wearing a mask and socially distancing. A private interment will be held at Woodward Hill Cemetery, Lancaster. The family looks forward to having a Memorial Celebration at a time when it is safer for everyone to come together.
Memorial contributions in Mary's name can be sent to The Fulton Theatre, 12 N. Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17602, Demuth Foundation/Lancaster Museum of Art, 116 E. King Street, Lancaster, PA 17602 or Woodward Hill Cemetery, 501 S. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603.
Please visit Mary's Memorial page at: