NOV. 10, 1922-AUG. 3, 2021
Iona Lane-Burslem (née Sutton) passed into the hands of the Lord Aug. 3 in Natchitoches. Iona was a remarkable woman who lived an incredible life. She was a source of inspiration for the younger generations of nieces. She was born in Dixie, La., Nov. 10, 1922, to JWC Sutton and Elizabeth Bryant.
Iona attended Herndon High School in Belcher and received her BA from Northwestern State University and was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha and Kappa Delta Phi sororities. She received her M.A. in Education from Louisiana State University.
Following WWII, Iona was hired by the U.S. Dept. of Defense to teach in the schools abroad for the Armed Services. She taught in Morocco, Heidelberg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart prior to being transferred to England, where she taught for 26 years in London and Oxfordshire. During those years, Iona travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East and Africa. She also taught riding classes and was a member of the Heythorp Hunt Club (fox) as wells as the Chipping Norton Golf Club.
Iona married Eric Lane-Burslem, the love of her life, in 1964. Eric was a retired Wing Commander in the RAF and was the Founding Chairman of the British Airline Pilot Association in 1937. Eric was also a test pilot for the de Havilland Aircraft Co. He was instrumental in the development of the “variable pitched propellers,” an innovation credited for the victory of the the Battle of Britain (Spitfire and Hornet aircraft). Eric passed in 1982 and Iona retired from teaching in 1986.
In 1998, Iona returned to Natchitoches where she resided until her death. Iona was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church Altar Guild, the St. Denis Chapter of D.A.R. and the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches.
Iona was preceded in death by her husband, Eric Lane-Burslem as well as her parents and siblings, Bryant Sutton, Marguerite Sutton Matthews, Henry M. Sutton and Col. Alfonse Buford Sutton. She is survived by her nephew, John Bryan; nieces, Beverly Sutton Young, Lynn Sutton Barry, Laurie Sutton Hienz, Jan Sutton and Lelia Sutton Peyronnin; four great-nieces; and six great-nephews.
Due to the resurgence of Covid, the memorial service will be announced at a later date.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to her loyal friend, Jan Frederick, Hospice of Natchitoches and Pat Payne and her family for their assistance in these last months. Donations in Iona’s name can be made to Trinity Episcopal Church.