James (Jim) Lamar Burch was a man of few words, but was known for his quick wit and one-line zingers. Even more so, he was known for his love of God, his country and his family. Most notably, Jim was known for his love and devotion to Geneva (Genny), his wife of 49 years until her passing in July 2016.
Jim was born September 2, 1936, in Jasper, FL, to James Oswald Burch and Martha Agnes Green. He graduated from the University of Florida in 1959 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also earned an Electrical and Communications certificate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
In 1958, he married Byrne Booth with whom he had three children – Carie Burch Quigley, Pleasant Hill, NY; James Oswald Burch, II, Wilmington, NC; and Boots Burch Quimbey, Bethesda, MD.
From 1959 to 1963 Jim served in the Air Force Reserves and was a certified value engineer in the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command. Jim was employed at the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C., where he worked on the Nike Zues and Atlas projects designing ballistic missiles. He also designed phone systems for The White House.
He later married Genny and they had two daughters, Rita Lynn, Marietta, GA, and Ada Lamar, Dunwoody, GA. Jim and Genny also fostered 63 children.
In 1969, Jim and Genny moved to Ontario, Canada, where he was an electrical controls engineer at the Atomic Energy of Canada.
He also worked for several other companies, including AT&T, Martin Orlando, Miller Brewing Company and Kun-Young Chiu & Associates. Jim and Genny moved from Wauchula, FL, to Valdosta, GA, in 1985 where they were members of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. Jim partnered with Ed Locke to start an engineering firm, AEC in 1990.
Jim loved classical music, WWII history, beer, and hot dogs.
In 2001, Jim and Genny moved to Donalsonville, GA where they built their dream home and lived their last years enjoying gardening and fishing. Following Genny’s passing, Jim moved to the Atlanta, GA, metro area where he was cared for by his daughter Ada and a dear family friend Michael Mulé.
On March 1, 2017, Jim reunited with Genny in heaven after succumbing to a long illness.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Brent, and Billy and his sister Margaret. In addition to his children, he leaves to cherish his life nine grandchildren – Patrick, William, Karl, Coleman, James III, Tyler, Allen, Thomas, and Brian; two great grandchildren, Finely and Bexley; sisters Lena Mae and Nelma, and a host of extended family members and friends.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 11 at 1:pm at St Barnabas church, 3565 Bemiss Rd, Valdosta, GA 31605. Celebration of life will immediately follow at Park Place, 2215 N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA.