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James E. Burnett, Sr.

October 31, 1953 ~ February 25, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old

James Burnett, Sr. Obituary

James E. Burnett, Sr. age 70, a beloved father and grandfather passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2024. James was born October 31, 1953, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son to the late Dorothy Horne Burnett and John Burnett. Living in North Philadelphia, James was the second oldest son of Dorothy and John. He was raised with his brothers Robert Burnett, the late Kenny Burnett and Sterling Burnett. James was also blessed to have additional siblings, including beloved sisters Sylvia Sadler Gordon, the late Valerie Sadler and brothers John Sadler and the late Eddie Sadler.

Also known as Sad Eyes, he was a loving energetic youth who attended Columbia High School and participated in numerous inner-city events and social groups. During 1969, he participated in the Black Panther Free Breakfast Program for School Children. This program fed tens of thousands of children and helped facilitate what is known as the free breakfast programs in Philadelphia. As an inner-city kid, he experienced the ups and downs of living in an urban area plagued with violence, drugs and death. Understanding the plight of black youth, this gave him a passion for civil rights and community outreach. This passion prompted James to pursue a degree in criminal justice from Temple University and certification to become a drug and alcohol counselor.

James met the love of his life, Barbara Cherry in the spring of 1975. At the time, James was a criminal justice major at Temple University and Barbara studied at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA, while working for Bell Telephone.

In April of 1979, the lord blessed Barbara and James with their first born, a baby girl whom they named Jamerra. On June 12, 1982, Barbara and James Burnett joined hands in holy matrimony at Greater Harvest Baptist Church in Philadelphia PA.

Almost ten years later, on June 17, 1988, Barbara and James were excited to welcome a baby boy named James E. Burnett Jr. Over the years James was employed as a counselor with at risk youth before retiring in 2012 as a drug and alcohol counselor for a Methadone clinic in Camden NJ.

After thirty-seven years of love, his beloved wife Barbara fought a swift battle with colon cancer. He retired to become her sole caregiver until God closed her eyes on April 15, 2012.  After participating in grief counseling, and starting to live again, he was blessed to find love with his partner Victoria Frasier. She is a true beacon of love, light and energy. Her nurturing spirit, compassion and care kept James healthy and vibrant for more than a decade. Together, they went on to see his son and daughter get married and start families.

James is survived by his daughter Jamerra Cherry- Straite, his son, James Burnett Jr., son in law, Tony Straite and daughter in law, Kimberly Burnett. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, James III, Jayden, Madison, Darian, Kiana, Jontaia and Monica. He leaves behind his brothers, Robert Burnett, Sterling Burnett, Kenny Burnett (deceased), Eddie Sadler (deceased) and John Sadler. He also leaves behind his sister Sylvia Sadler Gordon, Valerie Sadler (deceased) and a host of sister in laws, including Belinda Burnett, Regina Wood, Gloria Wood, Keisha Pledger Artis, Beverly Scott, Cecili (deceased), Jacqueline (deceased) and Tracey Graham (deceased). He leaves behind brothers-in-law, Cecil Gordon, Leander Artis, Robert W. Scott, Jr. and Tony Wood (deceased).

In addition, he is also survived by a host of loving relatives including cousins from the Gibson family.  He was blessed with nieces and nephews, Shamika, Chris, Amaya, Robin, Terrance, Terrell, Taryn, Ken Ken, Stacey, Shakea, AJ, Shanae, Nikki, Sharon, Amber, Yvetta, Nate, Tyree, Sydney, Ava, Sherena, Dupree, Carita, Latasha, Roshanda, Doneal, Terrell, Corey, Andre, Adrian, Jessica, Quinton, Twanda, Ashley, Ebony, Dorril, Wesley, Terrence, Earl, Cecil Jr., Takena, Tiana, Tarohn and Lennox. God Daughters, Avian and Demaja.

God may have closed the eyes of James Burnett, but he will always be remembered as a devoted father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Some of his days were in pain, but his life was lived with joy. February 25th will be remembered for the sadness his absence caused, but it will also be remembered for the joy in knowing he became an angel.

Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing on Monday March 4, 2024 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Bell-Hennessy Funeral Home, 420 Main S Main Street, Williamstown NJ, 08094, followed by a Home Going Service at 12:00 PM. Burial Brotherhood Cemetery, Williamstown.

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March 4, 2024

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Bell-Hennessy Funeral Home
420 South Main St.
Williamstown, NJ 08094

Funeral Service
March 4, 2024

12:00 PM
Bell-Hennessy Funeral Home
420 South Main St.
Williamstown, NJ 08094

Graveside Service
March 4, 2024

1:30 PM
Brotherhood Cemetery
Walnut St.
Williamstown, NJ 08094


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