LOWVILLE, NY – John Willis Burr, 79, of Eugene Street, Lowville, passed away Saturday morning, Aug. 24, 2019, at his home.
John was born Feb. 12, 1940, in Lowville, a son of the late Morris S. and Eleanor Buckley Burr. He graduated in 1957 from General Martin High School and in 1959 from Canton ATC with an associate’s degree in agricultural business.
John worked for GLF (Grain & League Federation) from 1959 until 1962. He served in the U.S. Army as a medic from Aug. 22, 1962, until Oct. 25, 1965, serving for 13 months in Korea. After his service, John returned to work for GLF.
On April 16, 1966, he married Carole Ann Eaton at Beaver Falls United Methodist Church with Rev. Richard Northrup officiating.
From 1967 until 1983, John worked for Beaverite in Beaver Falls before working as general insurance agent for various agencies until 2000. He began working for Kinney Drugs in October 2002.
John was a member of B.P.O.E. 1605, Lowville Elks Lodge. He was a past member of the NYS Association of Agricultural Fairs where he served on the board of directors for over 40 years. He was a member of the Lewis County Agricultural Society Fair Board since 1974, and announced at eight county fairs in New York State and Canada. He was a member of the NYS Tractor Pullers Association and was honored by his induction into the NYTPA Hall of Fame in 2016.
John was a member of the National Ski Patrol, serving as patrol leader at Snow Ridge from 1966 until 1990, and served as one of the first EMTs in Lewis County.
In 1961, he founded little league baseball in Turin. He was active with high school sporting events since 1986.
John was the voice of north country auto racing since 1967. Starting on Aug. 6, 1967, he was a founder of Evans Mills Speedway. He served as track announcer for Evans Mills Speedway, Can Am Speedway, and Adirondack Speedway. He was the track announcer at Super Dirt Week at the NYS Fairgrounds for several years.
He is survived by his wife of over 53 years, Carole; a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Stephen Waitson of Kingston, Ontario, and their children, Sarah, Katharine, Stephanie, Kerry, Steph and Matthew; a son, Timothy Burr and fiancée Meridith Diacetis of Black River, and his two daughters, Meghan and Kaitlyn; a sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Gerald Saeva of Brockport, NY; nieces, nephews and cousins.
The funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc., with Rev. Bruce W. Chapman, pastor, officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in Lowville Rural Cemetery. A Celebration of Life gathering at the Lowville Elks Lodge will be immediately following the burial. Calling hours will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, prior to the funeral service at the funeral home.
Contributions in his memory may be made to Friends of Lewis County Hospice, P.O. Box 266, Lowville, NY 13367.
Condolences may be made online at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com.