James Leon Burleson Sr.


James Leon Burleson, Sr. passed away on May 11, 2014.

He was born on March 23,1917 in Guin, AL to Albert & Ruth Burleson.

He graduated from high school in Guin and graduated from Alabama Polytechnic Institute now Auburn University in 1939. He was preceded in death by his wife Stella Wicker Burleson in 1997. They had been married 58 years.

He was also preceded in death by his Sister Mary Springfield and Brother Max Albert Burleson.

He leaves his 5 children, Jim Burleson and wife Jeanie of Marianna, FL; Betty Carpenter and Husband Dan of Lincoln, AL; David Burleson of Dothan, AL; Joe Burleson and wife Sandi of Panama City, and Lee Burleson and wife Amy of Cumming, GA. Grandchildren, Dave Burleson of Marianna, FL; Heath Burleson and wife Natalie of Dothan, AL; Suzanne Thorn and husband Brian of Birmingham, AL; Michelle Burleson of Daphne, AL; Kimberly Weber and husband Todd of Panama City Beach, FL; Heather Smith and husband Ross of Panama City, FL; Ben Burleson of Panama City, FL; David Burleson of San Antonio, TX; and Jackie Burleson of Atlanta, GA. He also leaves 7 great grandchildren.

After graduating from Auburn, he worked for the U. S. Department of Agriculture until he entered the US Army during World War II. He served in the Southwest Pacific mostly in the Philippine Islands and Occupation of Japan. After the war he moved to Dothan and joined with Charles Chapman as a vice president of Chapman Construction Co. He moved to Mobile, AL and developed 2 subdivisions with several hundred houses. In 1958 he moved back to Dothan to handle land purchases for the company. He bought land for development in Mobile and Dothan, AL, Pensacola, FL, Ft. Walton Beach FL, and Panama City FL. In 1962 he moved to Panama City to develop the land that is now Forest Park and Sherwood Park.

He was very active in Methodist churches wherever he lived helping to start a new church in Mobile, now St. Marks Methodist Church. He also served on official board of First Church in Dothan, AL and served several terms on official board at First United Methodist Church, Panama City, FL. He served 2 terms as Chairman of the Board. He became a member of Rotary in 1963 where he is a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a believer in higher education and contributor and member of Presidents Club of Gulf Coast Community College, supporter of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL and a member of the Samford Society and George Petrie Society of Auburn University, and life member of Auburn Alumni Association.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday May 13th, from 10 - 11 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Panama City. Funeral service will be held at 11 AM at the First United Methodist Church of Panama City followed by burial at Forest Lawn Mausoleum beside his long time wife. Pallbearers will be: Dave Burleson, Heath Burleson, Brian Thorn, Todd Weber, Ben Burleson, Ross Smith, and David Burleson. For those desiring to do so, may make a donation to the endowment fund of the First United Methodist Church in his memory.


Wilson Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1911
214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
850-785-5272


Funeral Home

Wilson Funeral Home - Panama City
214 Airport Road  Panama City, FL 32405
850-785-5272
Published in Panama City News Herald on May 13, 2014