In Black History Month, Resident Story

Bayview is full of amazing residents. Each resident, both past and present, have played an integral part in strengthening the fabric of our community. We are proud and honored to share the story of beloved Bayview resident, Octavia (Toby) Burton. Her impact is still felt to this day across cultures and generations.

Toby Burton was born on October 2, 1925 in Hugoton, Kansas. She graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas. Toby married the love of her life and civil rights attorney, Philip Lyman Burton in 1949 and they both moved to Seattle.

Toby had a special love for kids and became a longtime teacher for children with special needs. Toby was also on the Board of Trustees at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital, which is now Seattle Children’s Hospital. In 1976, she along with other community members began raising funds to build the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, making it so that all children would have access to quality medical care. Her incredible accomplishments made her the 1979 recipient of the Charles E. Odegaard Award from the University of Washington. The Charles E. Odegaard award is the only university and community selected award, representing the highest achievement in diversity that one can receive at UW.

After her retirement, Toby moved to Bayview and remained an active volunteer and supported many worthy causes close to her heart. Toby could often be found volunteering and spending time with students at Bayview’s Intergenerational Children’s Center.

Toby’s legacy lives on at Bayview and in all the lives of the children that she worked throughout her lifetime. We are honored to share her story of love, sacrifice, and her extraordinary dedication to children.

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