Hurschel John “Macky” Burleigh Jr., 65, beloved husband of Barbara Barrett Burleigh of Valdosta, Ga., entered peacefully into eternal rest on Jan. 11, 2012 at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.
He was born in Warner Brown Hospital in El Dorado, Ark. on June 22, 1946 to Hurschel John Burleigh Sr. and the late Ruby Marie McMurrain Burleigh. He moved to Luling in 1954 when his father went to work for Lion Oil Co. When he graduated from Hahnville High School in 1965, he joined the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and went into training as a jet engine mechanic. He advanced in rank over his 21 years of service to Supervisor of the F-16 and F-17 engine shops. He served in various Air Force bases in Vietnam, Germany, the U.S. and Korea. His Air Force career ended when he suffered a severe stroke while stationed in Seoul at the age of 41, but with his strong determination, hard work and the grace of God he managed to overcome most of his disabilities from the stroke and enjoyed being with his family, doing his yard work, his house repair work and love to cook Cajun dishes. During the last several months his health started declining due to congestive heart failure, lung and kidney problems to the point that he had to be on oxygen.
He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Barbara, whom he met and married while stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta on Feb. 27, 1968; two daughters, Catherine Lydia (husband Larry Dean) and Belenda Ann Burleigh, one son, Michael Eric Paul Burleigh, three grandchildren, Christopher Burleigh (Paula), Clifford Hiers Jr. and Alan Michael Hiers, all of Valdosta; a great-granddaughter, Katlynn Lorene Burleigh of Hahira, Ga., his father, Hurschel John Burleigh Sr. of Luling, one brother, Richard Francis Burleigh (wife Kay Ayo Burleigh) of Pine Bluff, Ark., three sisters: Mary Ann (husband Randy Plattsmier) of Bayou Gauche, Sinie Marie (husband Robert LaCour) of Chesterfield, Mo. and Leigh Ann (husband Wesley Smith) of Dallas, Texas; his mother-in-law, Effie Lee Barrett of Valdosta, and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
He loved his country and will be remembered by his strong family ties, his kindness and willingness to help others, his determination in taking time to do things right the first time and his strong devotion to his Catholic faith.
Services were held on Jan. 13 at Carson McLane Funeral Home in Valdosta with the Holy Rosary led by his father. Funeral Mass was held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, officiated by Fr. Marvin LeFrois with burial and full military honors at Riverview Memorial Gardens. Family and friends gathered to pray that the Lord will grant them the grace, courage and peace to help them get through this most difficult time. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com.