Concerning Professor Rufus Burton Fletcher, Jr., J.D.
A product of his environment. and proud of it.
Right off the bat you may not have heard about the lineage of the Fletchers, a hardworking, perseverant blue-collar family originating in Suwannee County, Northern Florida. But you have probably heard, provided you’re well-adjusted, of a Professor Rufus Burton Fletcher, Jr., J.D. (Ret.) Torrance, California, professor of Management, Marketing, and Law, and Los Angeles attorney, with a law firm specializing in litigation.
Dedicated philanthropist and activist, serving on the board of organizations like the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, South Bay Children’s Health Center, Pop Warner Football of Torrance, and an award-winning leader in the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce.
Decorated, veteran instructor at El Camino College, and elsewhere, and by all accounts one of the finest men the residents of Los Angeles County have ever had the privilege to know.
However, it will be Professor Fletcher himself who will tell you that his stalwart views and values, solidified by years of public service and achieving the rank of Corporal during the Vietnam Era, is entirely due to the preoccupations and achievements of his kin.
It would seem a proclivity for accomplishment runs in the family, as Professor Fletcher is joined in his hardworking ambition by his mother and father. His mother and the elder Hunters were sharecroppers from Florida. His father’s family were farmers in McAlpin, Florida.
His parents commenced their farming operations in McAlpin, Florida, expanding their agricultural enterprise into a full-on business. Their venture wound up cultivating products like corn, tobacco, peanuts, watermelons, hay, wheat, rye, and timber. In terms of animal produce, the Fletchers raised calves, dairy cows, broilers, and hogs.
The hands-on quality of their parents, accompanied by day-to-day, on-the-ground necessity of being one’s own boss, instilled a work ethic evident in all the Fletcher children, Burton Fletcher included.
Burton’s sisters, Emma Jean Fletcher Jordan is a retired Registered Nurse. His youngest sister, Lena Fletcher Heeney, is a retired Licensed Practical Nurse.
Lena’s children – Sean Patrick Heeney – attained his bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in mathematics from Valdosta State University. Sean Heeney is working on his master’s degree in computer science at Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the state’s most prestigious universities.
Colleen Caitlin Heeney has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Florida State University, and she is working on a second master’s degree while attending the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Simultaneously, she is a teacher in Branford, Florida, and an adjunct professor of political science at Florida Gateway College! This former high school All American has a remarkable work ethic!
Emma Jean Fletcher Jordan’s children are Emy Jordan Delgado, Lillian Jordan Class and Jordan Fletcher Jordan. Emy graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Civil Engineering. She works as an engineer in the Road Department for the State of Florida in Lake City, Florida. Younger sister Lillian graduated from truck driving school. She is a full-time mom to Larry Drake Kinter, and Jinnette Nereida Class. Jordan, the youngest of Emma Jean’s children is a student at Florida Gateway College in Lake City, Florida.
In retrospect, we can summarize Burton’s immediate family as follows:
Burton’s paternal grandparents, were Burton Eugene Fletcher (April 2, 1897 to March 29, 1968) and Ethel Mobley Fletcher (April 14, 1897 to July 15, 1983); and his maternal grandparents, Gus Esco Hunter, Sr. (December 12, 1882 to February 17, 1971); Emma Lillian Geiger Hunter (September 1, 1889 to January 12, 1973) (all buried in the McAlpin Advent Christian Church Cemetery); and parents Rufus Burton Fletcher, Sr. (Sept. 4, 1923 to October 10, 1998) and Emma Callie Hunter Fletcher Dowdy (March 5, 1930 to Sept. 6, 2019) (buried in the Live Oak Cemetery) who last resided in Lake City, Florida. Not to be forgotten, Burton’s best friend in life was Emiko Takeuchi. (Please read Emiko’s obituary by searching “Emiko Takeuchi, obituary.”)
Burton’s younger sisters are Emma Jean Fletcher (James Larry) Jordan (Wellborn, FL); Lena Fletcher (Jerome “Jerry” Patrick) Heeney (Lake City, FL); and four nieces and one nephew; Emy Lenal Jordan (David) Delgado; Lillian Jinnette Jordan (Carlos) Class; Jordan Fletcher Jordan; Sean Patrick Heeney; Colleen Caitlin Heeney; and four great grandnieces and one great grandnephew, Shelby Brooke Delgado; Emily Grace Delgado; Haley Jordan Delgado; Larry Drake Kinter; Jinnette Nereida Class.
The Fletcher family’s productivity and hardworking natures are a true testament to the following cultural insight. They say you can judge one’s character from looking at their partners, at their kids, and at their extended families. In the case of Professor Rufus Burton Fletcher, Jr., J.D. and his family, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In this case, that expression is more than a good thing. The kind of living to work, simultaneous to a love for life, is a collectivized outlook every member of the Fletcher family – past and present – has come to embody. They are ordinary, hardworking Americans, ambassadors in a sense for the purest values of the American Dream.
No matter what the future holds, one thing is certain. The Fletcher family will endure. Not just from one generation handing the baton to the next. But with respect to the impact, they all have had on themselves, on each other, and on their respective communities. If the name Fletcher is a brand, its application as a philosophical outlook is the best money can buy.
Amen to that!