Obituary Photo

Joseph Davie “Joe” Burnett, Jr., 80

Joseph Davie “Joe” Burnett, Jr. 80 of Middleburg, FL passed away Friday, May 1, 2020.  Mr. Burnett was born in Portsmouth, NH to the late Joseph D. Burnett, Sr. and Mildred Messer Burnett.  Joe was a veteran of the US Navy and retired after 22 years of military career from the US Air Force.  He had been a resident of Middleburg for the past 18 years after moving to North Florida from Sanderson, FL.  He was an avid HAM radio operator and enjoyed his various pets to include his cats.

Mr. Burnett is survived by his wife of 26 years, Glenda Burnett, children, Glenn (Rhonda) Burnett and Laura (Mark) Hofstatter, brothers, Harold (Anna) Burnett and Bill (Debrah) Burnett, sister, Barbara Burnett, granddaughter, Kirsten (Tommy) Clay and three great grandchildren, Chance, Myles and Annellen.

Memorial Services will be held 11:00 AM Friday, May 8, 2020 in South Middleburg Baptist Church with Rev. Delton Kilpatrick officiating.  Military Honors will be by the US Air Force.

Arrangements are under the care of Russell Haven of Rest Cemetery, Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 2335 Sandridge Road, Green Cove Springs, FL  32043.  Family and friends may share their condolences at: 904-284-7720

  • Bill Burnett

    I am saddened by my brother Joe’s passing and wish I could attend the memorial service on Friday. Unfortunately with the Covid-19 restrictions, along with distance, this is not possible but I will be there in spirit and hope to share some warm recollections which might be included in the event. Thank you for this nice obituary.

  • Bill Burnett

    I wrote these words to be read if possible at my brother Joe’s memorial, which was held today. I’m not sure if they got to it, so I’ve decided to post them here:

    My brother Joe was 12 years older than me. My other siblings were 10 and 11 years older. So I grew up as a kind of quasi only-child and have very few memories of Joe from when I was small.

    But the memories I do have are vivid. I remember him coming into the house and grabbing a full bottle of milk and a full loaf of our mother’s homemade bread and chomping and guzzling in the living room. I thought that was so COOL!

    I also remember the ham radio shack he built in the musty basement of our old house. From it emanated strange squeeks and squawks, and voices from the other side of the world. And it was all wrapped in the intoxicating smell of cigarette smoke and electronics.

    These sensory sounds and smells, and the rebellious coolness of my oldest brother, who would carry his cigarette pack folded into one sleeve of his white t-shirt, inspired me to become a ham radio operator too, although I have little or no technical talent. Joe helped me get my license and get my own ham shack set up in the abandoned footprint of where his had been. Those were fun times that have given me a lifetime of warm feeling toward him.

    I remember him singing along with the Monkees, the TV rock group, as we spliced wires and hooked things up. Joe wasn’t a guy who sang much, but I guess he was having fun too.

    He was a manly man. He drove a mustang. He would complain that other cars didn’t have cajones. Then he showed me the mustang’s acceleration, and he was right. It had cajones. Joe did too.

    Joe and I did not often see eye to eye on socio-political issues, but there were times when our views overlapped. I remember him very patiently helping me understand why my doubting-Thomas religious views might not go over with our Baptist minister father. It was a learning moment, and Joe was the teacher. I carry a lot of such Brother Joe learning moments in my heart and mind.

    He had a generosity of spirit, and an infectious laugh and smile. And he was kind to the many animals he and Glenda welcomed onto their compound, without regard to their state of health or temperament. Joe loved those animals.

    And he loved his family. His kids and grandkids were clearly very important to him.

    I regret that in recent years opportunities to be with Joe became very rare to nonexistent. I know he recently went through some very difficult times with his health and I know he is now in a more peaceful place. I’m glad about that. And I’m glad Joe Burnett Jr. was my big brother.