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James Hugh McBurney Sr.

November 1, 1938 ~ June 7, 2020 (age 81)


James Hugh McBurney, Senior, passed away peacefully on June 7, 2020, following a lengthy illness. He was born on November 1, 1938, in Yoakum, Texas, and grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Jim was a self-made man with a tremendous work ethic. He graduated from LSU Medical School and met and married his wife, Susan, while both worked at Letterman Hospital in San Francisco, California. He served his country in the Vietnam War as a Captain in the Army Medical Corp and was the Commanding Officer of Company D of the First Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. For his service, he was awarded both the Legion of Merit Award and the Bronze Star Medal.

Jim and Sue lived in Tyler, Texas, where he practiced radiology and they raised their five delightfully well-behaved children. In 1998, Jim and Sue retired to Rockport, Texas, where he was surrounded by the water he so loved.

Jim was so much more than the above and it is difficult to fully capture the essence of this humble and modest man. He was an incredibly caring and generous person who was devoted to his family and their happiness and well-being. He loved the greens of a golf course, the clear skies while flying, and the blue waters while boating. Jim restored a 1952 Beechcraft C-45 Twin Beech and a charming 1946 shrimp boat, The Captain Carroll. In all his adventures, he involved his children and grandchildren who inherited his love and enthusiasm for golfing, flying, and fishing.

After 44 years of marriage, Jim lost his beloved wife, Susan, in 2008. Jim found love again and married Jude Powell in 2013. Together, they embarked on numerous adventures. They hosted Camp BaBa for the grandkids in the summers and cruised part of the Great Loop in their trawler, Claddagh, in 2011 and 2012.

Before his illness, he remained very active and it was particularly heartbreaking to see such a vibrant man lose the ability to fully engage in life. He never complained while ill and always had a beautiful smile when surrounded by his family. While our lives will be infinitely changed without him, he will forever live on in our hearts and we treasure all our wonderful memories.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jude Powell, his brother Terry (Meridyl) McBurney of Pearland, Texas, and his children Jay (Casey) of Dallas, Texas, and Julie, Mike (Charlotte), Dan, and Elizabeth (Dave), all of Rockport, Texas. He also leaves seven beloved grandchildren (Michael, Trey, Colin, Matthew, Kenner, and, finally, two girls Zadi and Anna). He was predeceased by his wife Susan; parents, Terry and Sydney McBurney; and two sisters, Nancy Caro and Kathy Morgan. The family wishes to thank Sweet Terry for the love and care she so generously gave him in his final months. We are also indebted to Harbor Hospice for their guidance, support, and care. We especially want to thank Brittany, Tammy, Debbie, and Carrie.

We will hold a private ceremony per his wishes. In lieu of flowers, we respectfully request any donations to The Parkinson’s Foundation. Despite the sadness of his passing, please raise a pint of Guinness and sing your favorite Willie Nelson song in his honor.

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