William Harrison Burnette died in his beloved state of North Carolina on Sunday, February 7, 2021, surrounded by his family and friends. His parents, James T. Burnette and Marion Hertzog Burnette predeceased him.
Bill was born May 17, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA, but moved at a very early age to Asheville, NC. He graduated from Lee Edwards High School in 1962, where he was part of the "Fab 5" basketball team that won the State Championship that year. After graduation, he attended UNC Asheville, where he also played basketball until an Achilles tendon tear sidelined him. He later went off to college at East Tennessee State University where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity and earned a BA in Marketing. After graduation, he moved to Atlanta, GA where he and his high school friend, Jim McDonald, formed Burdon Uniform Co., which was later sold to The Fechheimer Co. Bill was a seasonal athlete; in summer he loved playing tennis in the hot sun at Bitsy Grant and fly fishing in the Chattahoochee River; fall was all about dove hunting; winter was spent playing pickleball or sitting in a deer stand with his son, Hunter, waiting for the "big one" to come by or hunting ducks in Arkansas; and spring was spent biking, hiking, fly tying or turkey hunting. Bill was a seasoned Shag dancer and loved the old beach music which brought back memories from Myrtle Beach days where he learned to dance. He and his wife loved any kind of dancing, even Disco dancing during that era.
He lived in Atlanta for fifty years, where he enjoyed his Haynes Manor neighborhood and the many friends he made during that time, along with his daily exercise at The Family Life Center.
Surviving Bill are his wife of 49 years, Vicki Scheffel, and his children: Brianne Marshall (Peter) and Sidney (1) of Durango, CO; Hunter Burnette (Viviana) and Audrey Marie (11), Mary Fallon (9), Hannah Reese Scheffel (7), Catherine Greer (2), John Fisher (1) and William Harrison who predeceased his namesake, all of Raleigh, NC; Wes Reed (Elaine) and Jeannie (14) of Winston-Salem, NC. Sister, Betty Collins (Ron) of Apalachicola, FL.
Bill never knew a stranger, whether in a McDonald's for morning coffee in Atlanta or playing pickleball in Durango, CO. He had a very big smile that would light up the room and would greet you with a firm handshake while looking you straight in the eye. He loved all wildlife and could recognize any species of game, fish, or mammal and shared many details of the same. He loved UNC basketball and his Boykin Spaniel, "Aiken". Fly-fishing the San Juan River, Missouri River, Madison River and bonefishing in Belize and Harbour Island were among his favorite outings. He was noted for his double haul casting and loved to teach his skill to anyone that wanted to learn. Fly tying was a real art that he became proficient in over the years.
A special thanks go to Dr. Mary Anne Alexander, Ann Gitonga, Doris Harris and Jon Wallace for the love and wonderful care they gave him.
Bill was a member of The Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Trout Unlimited, P.O. Box 7400 Woolly Bugger, WV 25438-7400; the Alzheimer's Association
, 225 N., Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601; or the Georgia Sheriff's Association, 3000 Highway 42 N., McDonough, GA 30253.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at a later date.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne, 300 Saint Mary's Street, Raleigh.