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BURNETTE, CONNER ALEXANDER, JR. (C.A.) - died at home on August 4, 2014. Born April 22, 1919, he was a lifelong resident of South Knoxville, graduating from Young High School in 1937 and the University of Tennessee in 1941. Conner married his high school sweetheart, Audrey Grubb, in 1940. He was called to active duty with his ROTC class in June 1941. Conner served in both the Pacific (1941 - 1943) and European Theaters (1944 - 1945) until the end of WWII as infantry unit commander, adjutant, and civil affairs officer. During the war, C.A. trained recruits, served as General George Patton's personal driver, helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp, engaged in multiple combat situations, and arrested war criminals. He was honorably discharged (1946) with the rank of major after a final posting as military governor of Walmunchen, Germany. Conner earned the Silver and Bronze Stars (5), as well as a Purple Heart, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Victory Medal. After the war, Conner served with the 316th Log Command of the Army Reserves until 1969 when he retired as lieutenant-colonel. Conner became an insurance agent in 1949 with Phoenix Mutual. After working with Lincoln National and Appalachian National Life Insurance Companies, he and two other agents started Financial Planning Service, Inc., in 1966. He continued representing clients until the early 1990's. Conner received the Dave Blumberg public service award from the Knoxville Association of Life Underwriters and held various offices in KALU and was president twice. He also served at the state and national levels of Life Underwriters. Conner was a lifelong member of New Prospect Presbyterian Church, serving in various capacities: elder, choir member, Clerk of the Session, General Assembly delegate, Pension Board representative, and other Presbytery and Synod level positions. He was active in local Republican politics, serving as chairman of the 29th ward for many years and serving on City Council in the 1970's. Conner was active in numerous military, business, and civic organizations including Sons of the Revolution, American Legion, Military Order of the World Wars, Chartered Life Underwriters, Knoxville Community Chorus, SCORE, American Heart Association, PTA, UT Alumni Council, and Greater Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. He was also Knoxville's consultant on cable television in its early years of development. During their retirement years, Conner and Audrey used his military "perks" to travel the world, visiting the places he was stationed during the war as well as many other countries. Conversation was Conner's hobby, and he could talk to anyone about anything. His favorite subjects were his grandchildren, his family history, the Presbyterian church, politics, his World War II experiences, and UT football. Conner loved his family, his church, his community, and his country, and all of his activities reflected his desire to make a positive contribution. Conner is preceded in death by his wife of 74 years, Audrey Grubb Burnette; parents, Conner A. and Margaret Kidd Burnette; and brothers, Thomas J. and Tony D. Burnette. He is survived by daughters, Connie Burnette Hilton (Houston), Nikki Burnette (Knoxville), and Sara and husband, Joseph McNamara (Birmingham); granddaughter, Michelle Hilton Fowler and husband John (Austin); grandsons, Alexander and John Conner McNamara (Birmingham); great grandchildren, Madison and Carson Fowler (Austin); sisters-in-law, Doris King, Singleton Grubb, and Anna Lee Massingill; several nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at New Prospect Presbyterian Church, 4920 Prospect Road, Knoxville, on August 16, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. with the family receiving friends at 3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Disabled American Veterans, 1020 19th Street North, Suite 475, Washington, D.C. 20036 or to a . Arrangements by Cremation Options, Inc. (865)6WE-CARE (693-2273)

Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Aug. 7 to Aug. 15, 2014
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