James Garland Burdette, 89, died at home on Sunday, June 21st surrounded by his loving wife and family. Garland was born on September 19, 1930 in South Charleston, West Virginia. He was the son of the late Velma Hinton Burdette and Joseph Hueling Burdette. He graduated from South Charleston High School where he was an all-state clarinetist and went on to college at WVU and West Virginia State College (University). He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War.
Garland loved animals and at one time aspired to be a veterinarian. During the course of his life he had a unique collection of both the usual and unusual pets. He developed a talent to build or repair almost anything. He was a carpenter and stone mason, a plumber and an electrician and while he was quick to help his family and friends he always made sure they understood that “it wasn’t a five minute job” no matter what it was he was doing. He bought his families first home from a pre-World War I neighborhood called Ordinance Park and moved it through the streets of South Charleston to Spring Hill where he renovated it for his growing family. In 1964 he went to work in Parkersburg for Marbon and began building a new home in Lubeck with little more than a hand saw and an amazing group of friends. He would live there the rest of his life. He retired from GE Plastics in 1990. As a young man he loved animals and motorcycles, duck hunting and skeet shooting. He learned to ski at 50 and would do almost anything at least once that involved his kids. He had a quick wit and was quick to make friends.
Above all else he loved his family. While Garland grew up as an only child he loved having a big family. He valued family and instilled that value in his children. He was happiest on family occasions when the family, which over the years had grown to almost forty children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their spouses gathered for holidays, birthdays and weddings, none of which will be the same without him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Joseph Hueling Burdette, Jr.
Garland is survived by his wife of 66 years, Sallie Jo French Burdette. Three sons and their wives, Joseph Keith (Pat), James Garland “Jim” Jr. (Denise) and Paul Arthur (Candace) all of Parkersburg. One daughter and her husband, Lisa Lynn (Dan) Griffith of Parkersburg. Eight grandchildren, Matthew (Emma) Burdette of San Francisco CA, Alex (Emily) Burdette of South Charleston, Nicole Boyce of Parkersburg, Megan (Adam) Gillette of Parkersburg, Angie (Justin) Rogers Of Pittsburgh PA, Bryan Burdette of Parkersburg, Mollie (Wil) Sanders of Pittsburgh PA and Taylor (Daniel) Boles of Parkersburg. Eight step-grandchildren, Cam Huffman of Parkersburg , Craig (Kim) Huffman Of Belpre OH, Madilyn (John) Byers Of Parkersburg , Elizabeth (Chad) Daniel of Cincinnati OH, Matthew Holland Of Belpre OH, Kim (Ken) Stumbaugh of Galveston TX, Todd Griffith of Tampa FL, Joseph (Jill) Griffith of Sarasota FL. Seven great-grandchildren, nine step-great-grandchildren and one step great-great grandchild.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Friday, June 26, 2020 at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, 2333 Pike St, south Parkersburg with Pastor Aaron Marvel officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memory Gardens Mausoleum, Chapel of Peace. Visitation from 4-8 pm on Thursday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service on Friday.