SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — Jeff Burton, a longtime St. Louis radio personality on 105.7 The Point who bravely fought cancer for nearly a year and a half, died Monday. He was 55.
In a post on Facebook, the station said it was "devastated to share that ... we lost our wonderful friend and colleague."
"Everyone here at 105.7 The Point loved and admired Jeff for countless reasons—his kindness, his humor, his generosity—to just name a few," the station said.
Burton, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2021, continued appearing regularly on "The Rizzuto Show" until July 1.
"The last time he was on the air with us was a week ago Friday," the show's namesake, Scott Rizzuto, told listeners on July 11. "The outpouring of people asking, 'How's Jeff? How's Jeff?' That's the number one question we all get. The answer is usually, 'Jeff's hanging in there.' ... He hasn't been doing great the past couple of days, the past week."
Rizzuto read a Facebook post from Burton's wife, Juli, in which she said the cancer had spread to her husband's entire body.
"He will not be stable enough to receive any additional treatments. We're literally out of options," she wrote.
As Rizzuto continued reading the post, the show's two other hosts—Tony Patrico and Moon Valjean—became visible emotional.
"I'm not a praying guy, but I've been praying for Jeff every day and hoping for a miracle," Rizzuto said. "I don't think Jeff is coming in anymore."
For seven months in 2021, as Burton lost his hair from the effects of chemotherapy treatment, he wore a hat advertising a St. Louis business that made a donation to Kids Rock Cancer, a program at Maryville University that helps children cope with the emotional challenges of being diagnosed with cancer. Through his "Man Of Many Hats” campaign, Burton raised more than $35,000 for the program.
On July 29, "Jeff in Eureka" called in to "The Rizzuto Show" to update his colleagues on his diagnosis.
"As you can tell, I'm a little weak in the voice, but it's been a hell of a 10 days or so," he said, a month removed from his last time in the studio. "We were in the hospital for a little while, and then we went home and decided on hospice being the best thing right now. As for the medical doctors, they're like, 'It's pretty much what we've got for you right now,'" he said through labored breathing.
"The last time I went to see you, I brought with me a whole stack of letters from our listeners," Rizzuto said, adding there was many more waiting to be delivered. "They are coming in fast and furious."
"(The cancer diagnosis) has made me very humble and very lucky to realize who's behind me in all of this and all that sort of thing, so that's been one pretty cool thing," Burton said. "It's crazy how you find out how—and how many people you find out—give a s--- about you," quickly correcting himself to the laughter of hosts.
"We'll allow it," Rizzuto said.
"No matter what happens here going out, I know (Rizzuto) and Tony and everybody have talked about what the future may or may not hold, and whatever part I can be moving forward, we're going to try to figure that out together and just keep kicking ass as long as we can," Burton said during his last appearance on the show.
"'The Rizzuto Show' and our entire team will be honoring Jeff in the coming months, but for now, we ask that you simply keep Jeff’s family in your thoughts and remember the man who contributed so much to our station and our community," the station said on Monday.
Burton had worked in radio since the mid-1980s.
"He will literally live forever because of all he's done," Valjean, the show's co-host, said.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Abby and Casey. Funeral arrangements are pending.