Pictured is James “Mr. B” Burton whose memory was honored with the naming of the gym the James “Mr. B” Burton Gymnasium at Family Focus. Photo courtesy of Family Focus

Two spaces in the Family Focus building at 2010 Dewey Ave. have been renamed in honor of a long-time employee and a dedicated volunteer. In a ceremony last November, Family Focus officials dedicated the Dr. Robin Richmond Computer Lab and the James “Mr. B” Burton Gymnasium.

Information provided by Family Focus said Dr. Richmond, who died recently, worked for Allstate for 31 years, “establishing technology strategies and implementing technology solutions” before being named an assistant vice president of  the company. She received a doctorate of sciences in engineering and technology from Southern California University in 2002. “Dr. Richmond was a facilitator of a youth computer club and raised scholarship funds for youth. … [Her] commitment to Family Focus was demonstrated when she and Allstate established [the center] and donated computers. … Dr. Richmond received hundreds of awards, certificates of recognition for her ongoing commitment to her profession, her community, youth and education.”

Mr. Burton became involved in Family Focus in 1983, according to information from Family Focus, when he was “persuaded to help his neighbor and childhood friend to restore the old Foster School in preparation for the September Family Focus/Our Place move. While volunteering, he became hooked and thus began his tenure at the Weissbourd-Holmes Family Focus Center. … [T]housands of families and individuals … benefited from his generosity, kindness and words of wisdom.

“Mr. B made a commitment to his grandfather, Samuel Burton, to take the spirit of his great-great-grandfather from Oklahoma back
to North Carolina, where he had been forced to leave between 1838 and 1839. On June 19, 1999, he departed from Evanston on horseback, and, over the next nine months, he traveled 3,600 miles, covering the Trail of Tears. Mr. B took the Cherokee name Wolf Rider.

He remained a loyal and dedicated employee of Family Focus, taking care of this building and community until he joined his ancestors.