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James Edward Burnette
November 9, 1942 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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James Edward Burnette passed away on February 6, 2024, having endured with his indomitable spirit, nineteen years of Parkinson’s Disease. Jim is survived by his best friend, Norma Burnette, his wife of fifty-six years, and his devoted son, Thomas Burnette. His survivors also include his two daughters-in-law, Carol Ann and Susan, who blessed him with eight grandchildren, Sarah, Kristen, Lauren, Hannah, Leah, Matthew, Jennifer and Jack. His family filled his life with joy and laughter. Jim was predeceased by his eldest son, Jimmy.
Jim was born November 09, 1942 in New York City, to his parents, James Edward Burnette and Helen Donohue Burnette. He was raised in Queens, the second oldest child in a family of six. He is also survived by his five siblings, Eleanor, Helen Mary, Irene, John and Marybeth and their families. After high school, Jim joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and he served four distinguished years stationed at Camp Lejeune. He received his Honorable Discharge in 1966.
After his service, Jim moved back to New York City, where he began his career, starting in finance, at ABC. Achieving great success, he then moved on to NBC Sports and was named Director of Sports Sales. Ultimately, he advanced to the position of Vice-President of Sports Sales at NBC. Years later when FOX started a Sports Department, it hired Jim, and he became its Executive Vice-President, a position he held until his retirement in 2008. Among his many sports coups, the yellow first-down line superimposed on the tv screen during televised football games, was Jim’s invention!
Jim was renowned by all who knew him for his sparkling wit, punctuated by his beautiful smile, his bright blue eyes, and his magnificent Irish tenor voice, which highlighted his many amazing renditions of “Danny Boy.” He always had a rapt audience when he sang, when he toasted friends with his beer in a glass of ice, and when he was entertaining his buddies on the golf course at Sleepy Hollow C.C. Jim was a Legend and will surely be missed.
There will be Visitations at Waterbury & Kelly Funeral Home in Briarcliff Manor on Thursday, February 15 from 4p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday, February 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Theresa Church on Saturday, February 17 at 10:30 a.m. A private burial will be held at another time.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in memory of Jim to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741.