Dr. Fred Burnett
Dr. Fred Burnett, age 64, passed away at Vanderbilt Medical Center on October 1, 2013 after a brief illness.
Dr. Fred came to Jackson, Tennessee in 1983. A native of Wenatchee, Washington, Dr. Fred graduated from Duke University with an A.B. in Chemistry in 1971. He then received his Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Florida in 1972. He worked as a counselor for Vocational Rehabilitation and then Lucerne General Hospital in their spinal cord injury unit. It was at Vocational Rehabilitation where he met and married Dr. Charlene in 1974.
In 1976, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. Fred attended Southern College of Optometry. Dr. Fred graduated with his Doctor of Optometry in 1980 from SCO as class valedictorian, receiving the Beta Sigma Kappa Silver Medal, the highest honor. He taught dermatology, second year optometry and supervised third and fourth year students in the general, pathology and electrodiagnostic/low vision clinics at SCO until March of 1983. While a teaching associate at SCO, Dr. Fred was faculty sponsor for the Student Government Association and the Tennessee Club. In 1983, Dr. Fred and Dr. Charlene purchased their current practice in Jackson from the Optometry Group.
In service to his profession, Dr. Fred served through all the chairs of the Tennessee Optometric Association, being President for 2000-2001. He was named as TOA Optometrist of the Year for 1993-94 and Northwest Tennessee Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year for 1992-93. Dr. Fred served on the Board of Trustees for Southern College of Optometry from 1994-2002 and served on its Executive Committee from, 1999-2001.
He is a founding member of the American Optometric Society, a past Director for the NWTOA and TOA, a past Board Member for Omega Eye Care Clinic, a member of the American Optometric Association, a past member of the American Foundation for Vision Awareness, past fellow of the Tennessee Academy of Optometry, has served as an examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and is a member of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. He actively supports The STAR Center in Jackson. He is Board Certified and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.
Dr. Fred is survived by his lifelong partner in marriage and optometric practice, Dr. Charlene Burnett. He was preceded in death by his father, Fred R. Burnett, Sr. of Wenatchee, WA, and by his mother, Dr. Carol Burnett of Winter Park, FL. He has a god-daughter, Lauren Baggett of Athens, TN. He is also survived by dear friends and patients too numerous to mention.
Special thanks go to his wonderful staff who he considered his family. He will be remembered as a kind and compassionate caregiver, a great friend, and a wonderful, loving husband. He always felt truly blessed to be able to serve his patients from West Tennessee.
There will be no public funeral service and the family hopes their privacy will be respected.
Those who wish to honor Fred may make memorial contributions to Southern College of Optometry, 1245 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104.
West Harpeth Funeral Home, 6962 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209; (615) 352-9400.
West Harpeth Funeral Home
6962 Charlotte Pike Nashville, TN 37209
Published in The Jackson Sun on Oct. 4, 2013