Funeral services for Burnis Eli Wilburn, 92, of Pelican, La., will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield with Rev. Sam Wheeless officiating. A graveside service with military honors will immediately follow the service at the Pelican Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until service time.
Burnis, who was also known to many as B.E., Junior, or Pac, was born on March 3, 1927 in Pelican to Burnis Sr. and Jimmie Paxton Wilburn. His mother passed away when he was just eighteen months old, so Burnis was raised by his grandparents, Garland and Lizzie Paxton. Burnis passed away peacefully on August 7, 2019.
Burnis was a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He honorably served his country in the United States Army during World War II. After returning from the war, Burnis met and married the love of his life, Charlotte Webb Wilburn. After working off-shore for Texaco, Burnis became self-employed and owned his own dairy barn. He and Charlotte settled in Pelican where Burnis worked as a farmer, baling hay, planting trees, and raising beef and dairy cattle. Burnis was extremely intelligent and had a work ethic second to none. While working as a farmer, he also became involved in the oil business and drove the school bus for Pelican Elementary and High School for 31 years. He was a long-time member of Pelican United Methodist Church and Masonic Lodge #318.
Burnis was fun-loving and tender-hearted. He never met a stranger. He loved horseback riding and was always in search of the perfect horse. He also enjoyed watching high school basketball games and boxing matches. He delighted in his family, often proudly stating, “I sure do love my family. I have a good family.” Burnis was a generous person who consistently operated with integrity and exemplified what it means to be a Christ-follower.
Left to cherish the beautiful memories of Burnis are his wife of 71 years; son Glen and wife Betty; daughter Linda Wilburn Davidson and husband Robbo; five grandchildren: Allison Carpenter, Willis Wilburn, Ann Vidrine, Becki Hudson, and Ashley Sonnier; and 12 great-grandchildren: Emma and Max Hudson; Eli Wilburn; Reece, Bryce and Juliana Carpenter; Sadie, Aaron and Sophie Vidrine; Olivia and Camille Sonnier; and Kristina Cole.
He is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents; his Aunt Minnie Paxton Heman who was like a sister to him; Uncle Kearney Paxton; and cousin Ray Paxton.
Pallbearers for Mr. Wilburn are Eli Wilburn, Dustin Vidrine, Colby Sonnier, Marshall Carpenter, Reece Carpenter and Bryce Carpenter.
The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the staff at DeSoto Retirement and Rehabilitation Center for the care shown to “Mr. B,” particularly nurses Sharonda Gant, Salena Weaver, Denise Sloan, Cary Raborn, Olivia Lewis, and Linda Brown; as well as Burnis’ kindhearted hospice nurses at Superior Hospice. The family also extends loving gratitude to Mr. B’s home caregivers who are like family: Lisa Radford, Jimmie Monroe, Eliza Buckley, and LaShara Johnson. Burnis’ last year of life was also made brighter by the loyal companionship of fellow residents Willie Lee Wells and Beverly Jackson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Pelican Methodist Church, P.O. Box 103, Pelican, La., 71063.
“From the rising of the sun to its setting, let the name of the LORD be praised.” (Psalm 113:3)