John Eric Burnett Jr., son of Ruth Valentine and John Eric Burnett, was born July 7, 1918, in East Lansing, Mich. He died Aug. 25, 2013 in Sarasota, Fla. Aug. 25th, coincidently, was the birth date of his wife, Charlotte McCulloch Burnett who preceded him in death.
John married and survived Margery Hinson Hedspeth of Glendale Spring. Although John had been in declining health for several years, he continued to demonstrate his sparkle and spunk up to his last days. He was the oldest of four brothers; William (Beulah), Thomas (Noreen) and James (Patricia). Both Bill and Tom preceded him in death.
He graduated from Michigan State University and went on to complete medical school at the University of Michigan. After service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, John received additional training in OB-GYN at Women's Hospital in Detroit, Mich. He opened his OB-GYN practice in Springfield, Ohio, in the spring of 1949 and remained there with his family until June of 1975.
His accomplishments during that time included regular contributions to major medical journals and the establishment of one of the first midwife training programs in the United States, not to mention the delivery of more than 5,000 babies. After leaving private practice in 1975, he taught obstetrics in the medical school at UNC Chapel Hill until 1981. John continued as doctor/teacher by working with the Four Nations community in Arizona.
When he and Charlotte moved to Ashe County to retire; retirement was not in his vocabulary. As in his younger days, he was an active member the Episcopal Church, participated in school boards, hospice board, and lost many nightly cribbage games to his wife.
John is survived by his brother James; and by children, Kathrine Ann Zimmerman and husband Martin Zimmerman, Charlotte Morrison Hawke and husband John A. Hawke, Ruth Elizabeth Weber (husband William Weber deceased), John Eric Burnett III, and Peter O'Neil Burnett; John's grandchildren, (Kathrine) Joseph Zimmerman, Buenos Aries, Argentina, Paul Zimmerman, Chicago, Ill., (Charlotte) Jeremy Hawke, Traverse City, Mich., Noel A. Hawke, Lyme, N.H., Jess Hawke, Sarasota, Fla., (Ruth) Andrew Weber, Grand Rapids, Mich., Eric Weber, Naples, Fla., and William Weber, Jacksonville, Fla. His family includes 10 great-grandchildren, (Charlotte) Alex Hawke, Clancy Hawke, Abbey Hawke, Annabelle Hawke, Carter Hawke, Reed Hawke, Harris Hawke, Noah Hawke, (Ruth) Hannah Weber and Avery Weber.
A celebration of his life will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 28, 2013, in Glendale Springs, at the Mountain Aire Restaurant.
He will be interned next to Charlotte at a later date in Dexter, Mich.
The family asks that donations be sent to Alzheimer's Foundation of America www.alzfd.org/makeadonation.