Henry O. “Tex” Burnett

By The Curry Coastal Pilot January 22, 2013 10:09 pm
Henry O. “Tex” Burnett
Henry O. “Tex” Burnett

Henry O. “Tex” Burnett passed away, at the age of 96, on Jan. 17, 2013, in Brookings, of natural causes. 

He was born Dec. 4, 1916, in Whitney, Texas, to James Wilburn and Alma Thetus (McNeely) Burnett.  He was one of eight children and  the youngest of the three brothers and five sisters.  

Tex grew up farming, picking 500 pounds of cotton a day and later trucked and farmed cotton, corn, fruit, vegetables and nuts with his family. This was a family of service to others.

Tex enlisted in the U.S. Navy following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. On Jan.1, 1942, he was assigned to the newly commissioned ship the USS Escambia, an oil tanker and transport for fueling the fleet out of Pearl Harbor. Tex later transferred to the USS Lucidor, a supply ship for the bases on the Pacific Coast, including Alaska and Seattle, Wash.  He was honorably discharged Oct. 6, 1945.

Following the war, Tex came to Oregon where he worked in a sawmill and as a cat skinner until he was injured.  After that, he began working in the grocery store industry, first in produce, and then later as manager for McKay’s Markets. Tex landed at the Brookings store from which he retired after 27 years.  

He met the love of his life, Wally and they married in May, 1980.

Tex was a simple, caring and loving man of great values. 

Hearing him whistling his own tune, you knew the friend with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face was close by.  He also, every night, sang “Strawberry Roan” to his cat, “Melody.”  Some will remember him catching the big one at his favorite fishing spot:  Social Security Bar.  Tex made a difference in everyone’s life.

Survivors include his wife Wally Burnett of Brookings, and her son David Corneil, wife Erin and their sons Connor and Riley of Billings, Mont.; daughter Carole Gene Chambers, her husband Larry of Joseph, and her son Mark Chudy, his wife Michelle and their children Dillon, Kaylee and Brooklynn of Reedsport, Carole’s daughters Stacey McGee and her daughter Kristina, of Anchorage, Alaska, Terri Grissom, her husband Tony of Anchorage, and her children Brandon, Gabrielle, and Demetrick; daughter Betty Smith of North Pole, Alaska, her children Reneé Andrews, Kimberly Reedy, and Frank Eaton Jr.; daughter Linda Sullivan, her husband Efton and son Ryan McVay, his wife Gina and their son Mitchell of Rifle, Colo., Linda’s daughter Achsa Davis; son Steve Ray, his wife Pauline and their son Jason of Yoncalla; daughter-in-law Cathy Burnett, her children Michelle, Pamela, Brandi and Matthew of Portland. Also surviving are  many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren; sisters Inita Mitchell and husband Billy of Raymond, Miss., Jeanette Walker of Raymond, and Alma Hickox of Cleburne, Texas.  

Tex was preceded in death by his son James A. Burnett, Sept. 11, 2010.

At Tex’s request, no ceremony will be held.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington, Attn: Donations, 2620 N. Commercial Ave., Portland, OR 97227 or online at rmhcoregon.org.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net.

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.