Cover photo for James E. Burnell's Obituary
James E. Burnell Profile Photo

James E. Burnell

d. August 22, 2020

James “Jim” Burnell of St. Charles, MO passed away in his sleep on August 22, 2020.  He was 76 years old.

Jim was born in North Tonawanda, NY - kissed by the mists of Niagara Falls - to Wallace and Bland Burnell in 1944.  He cherished the memory of defeating the state chess champion in school and later taught his children to play chess - though not to master it.  This would come as no surprise to all who knew his wry sense of humor.

He enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1965 and would soon meet Laura Davidson, who would capture his heart and become his wife in 1968.  They had five children together.  He loved to travel and wanted to see the world.  His favorite road trips took him to Montana and Colorado, and his intrepid spirit saw him on an adventure to Ukraine.  His tamer hobbies included playing in a pool league and watching cheesy movies.

He truly enjoyed helping people and gave selflessly.  He would suffer if it meant the chance to ease another’s suffering.  Through it all he never failed to find the humor in life.

He is survived by his sister, Jane (Phil) Schmidt, his brother, Rich (Jean) Burnell, and his children, Shelly (Chris) Conley, Beth (Paul) Zahn, Dawn Coyle, Jim “Bryan” (Annie) Burnell, and Patty (Mike) Fitzgerald. He is greatly missed by his grandchildren, David (Sarah), Jacob, Nathan, Nicholas, Colin, Emily, Quinn, and Austin.

A Celebration Of Life event will be held at Broemmelsiek Park Pavilion #6 in St. Charles from 1:00 - 5:00 on Saturday, October 10.

Jim’s family would ask for thoughtful donations to the St. Louis Area Foodbank rather than flowers.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James E. Burnell, please visit our flower store.


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