Funeral Services Held For James W. “Bud” Burnett

James Wesley Burnett, known by everyone as “Bud” passed away Sunday, July 15th, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was 91 years old.

Bud was born in the front bedroom of an East Tennessee farmhouse on October 5, 1926 to the late Lloyd Thomas Burnett and Rural Grace (Roberts) Burnett. He was the third of seven children. He grew up in Talbott where his father was a local businessman.

Much of Bud’s early life was spent working with his siblings and father in their local poultry business. In the early days, at age 15, Bud would source live chickens in East Tennessee and haul them twice a week to Brooklyn, New York. This was in the days before refrigeration, which Bud referred to as one of the greatest advances in modern history.

Bud left high school and enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17 to serve his country during World War II. During the War he served on a Landing Craft Infantry Ship. A proud member of the Greatest Generation, Bud loved and served his country well. After leaving basic training on a trip from New Orleans to Virginia, the vessel’s chef suffered from sea sickness and could not continue. Since Bud’s mother had insisted on him learning to cook at a young age, he was promoted quickly to petty officer first class and head of the ships galley. Throughout his life he had a love for the art of cooking and he routinely shared it with his family and friends.   

While home on leave during the War, Bud met Mary Nell Murray, a beautiful young woman who was attending Lincoln Memorial University. After a three-year courtship, Bud and Mary Nell married on October 15, 1947. Bud and Mary Nell or “Nelly” as he called her, enjoyed over 70 years of marriage which blessed them with three daughters: Jamie, Anne, and Becky. Last fall they celebrated their anniversary surrounded by family while Bud honored her with an anniversary band. They declared that a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on one another.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.