Jim was born in White Sulphur Springs on Jan. 25, 1956. He was the son of James and Anita “Kitten” Burr.
He attended Greenbrier East High School and graduated in 1974. Jim then attended Potomac State University until deciding to enlist in the United States Navy, completing basic training in Orlando, FL, in 1977. He then served aboard the USS SWORDFISH (SSN-579), a SKATE class nuclear-powered attack submarine, from 1978-1982 until separating honorably from active-duty service. Jim went on to complete a technical diploma at Milwaukee Area Technical College from 1985-1987, which he utilized as a heavy equipment mechanic for multiple companies in the Eau Claire, WI, area until moving back to West Virginia in 2001. For the remainder of his life, Jim was a beef cattle farmer with his father, James Burr, Jr., and uncle, Charles Burr, at Duntrukn Farm in his hometown of White Sulphur Springs.
While serving aboard the USS SWORDFISH stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, HI, he met the love of his life and future wife, Dr. Catherine “Cathy” Gilgenbach Burr. Jim and Cathy were married in Honolulu on Sept. 26, 1981, at Faith Fellowship Church.
Jim was known as an honest man, a hard-worker, and above all, a steadfast husband to his wife, Cathy, and dedicated father to his son, Carl. Through all of his life, even when Cathy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and confined to a wheelchair, he stayed by her side as a constant companion and caregiver. He was by her side when she passed not long ago on July 9, 2022. Jim loved his family, his faith, rocking chairs on the front porch, Green Bay Packer football (especially cheering loudly with his son during the games), Westerns (specifically John Wayne films, as did his wife), any aeronautical museum (as his son could begrudgingly attest), and a lawn without trees (so he wouldn’t have to mow around them). He was especially proud of his son, who followed in his footsteps by commissioning as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy, and was always a source of knowledge and love for him throughout his life.
Jim is survived by his son, Carl and wife (Kennedy), and one grandson, (James). He is also survived by his mother, Anita “Kitten” Burr; uncle, Charles (Shelva) Burr; sisters, Ruth (RJ) Miller and Anita (Donald) Butts of White Sulphur Springs; as well as his in-laws, Diane (Larry) Hammang of Fond du Lac, WI, Janet (Al) Halvorson of Hillsboro, OR, Ronald (Cathy) Gilgenbach of Ann Arbor, MI, and Edmund (Christine) Gilgenbach of Fond du Lac, WI; in addition to many nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Cathy, and his father, James C. Burr Jr.
The Burr family is humbled and grateful for the many friends who have provided unyielding companionship and support, no matter the circumstances.
In lieu of memorials and/or flowers, please consider providing a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html?sc_icid=home-btn-donate-now), Samaritan’s Purse International Relief (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/donate-online/), or Joni and Friends (https://www.joniandfriends.org/).
There will be a private funeral service and memorial service held at a later date.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in White Sulphur Springs is in charge of arrangements.
Please send online condolences by visiting: www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com