Fred Burleson (1923 - 2013)

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First Sergeant

Fred Burleson

Spruce Pine - Fred Oliver Burleson, age 89, of Dale Road in Spruce Pine, went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 4, 2013 at Brian Center Health and Rehab in Spruce Pine.

Born on September 17, 1923 in Mitchell County, he was the son of the late Tom and Ada Buchanan Burleson. He was preceded in death by his wife of twenty-six years, Jean Ellis Burleson. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his oldest son, Bill Burleson and his daughter, Mary Jane Burleson. He was also preceded in death by his sisters, Georgia Phillips, Bernice Wilson, Estella Buchanan, Edith Conley, and Mabel Burleson; and his brothers, Oscar, Tommy, and Fonzer Burleson.

Fred was a faithful member of the Pine Branch Baptist Church in Spruce Pine where he served in many church offices. For many years he served as Head Usher, served on the Building and Grounds Committee, was the Chairman of the Brotherhood and for many years he was the Choice church van driver. He took the senior adults on many trips and served on the Pastor Search Committee, helped start the Fellowship Class and was a worker there.

In 1943, Sgt. Burleson finished basic training at Camp Blanding, FL. In 1944, he completed Jump School in Fort Benning, GA. He was assigned to the 11th Airborne as a replacement in the Philippines, Island of Luzon. During final conflict and occupational duty in Japan, Sgt. Burleson was with the 11th Airborne on the boardwalk of the U.S.S. Missouri when peace treaties were signed with Japan. Sgt. Burleson was on the 82nd Airborne Honor Guard for the Inauguration for President Eisenhower. After several months, Sgt. Burleson returned to Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd Airborne Division. His next assignment was the 9th Infantry Division to Korea. Upon completion of that assignment, he returned to the U.S. with the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, KY. He received special orders for tour in 1963 to Fort Wainright, Alaska and on June 1, 1965 after completing twenty-two years service, he retired faithfully and honorably with numerous awards and decorations. 1st Sgt. Fred O. Burleson returned to his home in Spruce Pine.

After his twenty-two years of service in the U.S. Army, he worked until retirement from Tri-County Oil in Spruce Pine. After retirement, Fred's biggest enjoyment was camping and many years were spent in Destin, FL at a military campground and at Seven Points Lake in Nashville, TN. His hobbies were hunting and fishing.

Fred is survived by his wife of forty years, Lucille Rhyne Burleson; his son, Roger Burleson and wife, Nancy; his stepchildren, Cindy Anderson and husband, Donnie, and Mark Pittman; daughter-in-law, Jeannie Burleson; his grandchildren, Freddy Burleson and wife, Stacie; Beth Satterfield and husband, Scott; Jennifer Gregory and husband, Blain; Meredith Hoilman and husband, Greg; Jesse Solomon and wife, Lindsi; Bobby Solomon; and Hannah Pittman; great grandchildren, Britt, Cole, and Jace Burleson; Bryce, Issac, and Aelie Satterfield; Addison and Elijah Gregory; Troy and Emree Hoilman; Lilli Solomon; and Liam Arnold. He is also survived by a host of cousin, nieces, nephews, and devoted friends; Quentin and Shirley Buchanan.

The funeral service for Mr. Fred Burleson will be conducted on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Pine Branch Baptist Church with the Rev's. Steve Williams, Andy Willis, and Tim Elmore officiating. Interment will follow in the Pine Branch Baptist Church Cemetery with Military Honors. The family will receive friends Friday afternoon from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made in Fred's honor to: Pine Branch Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church Missions Fund, or Hospice of Mitchell County.

Words of comfort may be e-mailed to the family by going to our website;, selecting Mr. Burleson's name and then you may sign his guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine, NC is assisting the Burleson family.



Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Mar. 6, 2013
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