Sylvanus Leonidas Burney IV

November 17, 1942January 13, 2020

Sylvanus Leonidas Burney, IV (S.L.), age 77, of Douglasville, Georgia, died peacefully January 13, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in West Point, Georgia, on November 17, 1942 to S.L. Burney III and Erma Pinckard Burney. He lived an idyllic childhood growing up on his family’s farm in what is now Valley, Alabama. S.L. graduated from Valley High School in 1960 and Auburn University in 1964. He received a degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps Reserve. He married Sandra Shelton after graduation and they began a long and happy life together. S.L. served proudly with both the First and Third Marine Divisions. He attained the rank of Captain. He was a Vietnam veteran. Following three years of active duty, S.L. worked mostly in the paper industry. He retired from both Union Camp and Georgia Pacific Corporations. He managed the Utility Audit Program at Georgia Pacific and counts his paper industry associates from Georgia and Alabama, to Maine, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and the Pacific Northwest as esteemed and respected colleagues and friends. S.L. served on the Douglas County, Georgia Board of Elections. He was a member of Douglasville’s Dirty Dozen war veterans. A fierce protector of children, he was a founding board member and tireless volunteer for Starting Over, the Supervised Visitation ministry of St. Julian’s Episcopal Church. He was active in the Episcopal and Anglican communities of Douglasville. S.L. was an avid reader and especially enjoyed military history. A recent hobby was finding bargains at estate sales and restoring machinery and tools. He could fix almost anything. He loved old tractors, the Atlanta Braves, and Auburn football.

Surviving family members are Sandra, his wife of 55 years, grandsons and adopted sons Drew and his wife Chelsea, Slaten and his wife Sarah, and Jake, his precious great granddaughter Adeline Harper Burney. He is also survived by a son Stephen Burney and daughter Caroline Burney, a sister Patricia Burney and his close friend and fellow estate sale aficionado, Alan Hodges.

The family will receive friends beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Whitley Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home in Douglasville. Funeral services will be held immediately following at 3:00 p.m. conducted by The Very Rev. Brandon Duke and The Rev. Jim Cheetham. Burial is at Georgia National Cemetery on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to Starting Over, c/o St Julian’s Episcopal Church, 5400 Stewart Mill Rd, Douglasville, GA 30135, or to a favorite charity. The family is grateful to Homestead Hospice of Newnan, GA, for its excellent care of S.L. and his family.

Please take time to leave condolences with the family or share memories of Sylvanus Leonidas Burney IV by visiting

Services have been entrusted to the care of Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home, 8640 Rose Avenue, Douglasville, Georgia 30134


  • Visitation Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Burial Wednesday, January 22, 2020


Sylvanus Leonidas Burney IV

have a memory or condolence to add?

George Rodosky

January 18, 2020

As keeper of the log book for our Marine Corps Basic School class, I thank you for informing me of this tragic and blessed event. SL was one of us, the few, the proud. I was surprised to hear that he treasured my news letters even when most are sad like this. He will always be remembered as one of us. Semper Fi.

Sandra, if you would like to be kept on our list for information, just respond to me at God Bless.
George Rodosky

Wayne Reep

January 15, 2020

SL was a colleague and mentor of mine with Georgia Pacific for many years. He taught me very much about the business. He always had my utmost respect. More than that, he was one of my favorite people. He will be greatly missed by all!

Sandra Norrell

January 15, 2020

SL was one of my favorite co-workers. I loved to hear him talk in his deep baritone voice. We solved many of the world's and our families problems during heart felt talks and rants and raves. We had a very similar approach to life and family.

He loved his family deeply. I got to enjoy many stories about his sons and daughter. He held them close to his heart. He demonstrated a work ethic to be admired. Thank you Ms. Sandra for your wonderful sharing and including those he loved and who loved him in return.

He will be missed. Thankfully, the future holds another time to visit together. Heaven is closer than ever.

Debra Mayfield

January 15, 2020

January 12, 2020

The staff of Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home and Memorial Park would like to extend our most sincere condolence to the Burney Family. We would like to thank you for entrusting the care of your loved one into our hands. Please remember you are not alone and we will always be here for you.

Karen Castle

January 14, 2020

I had the pleasure of meeting SL under not the best circumstances since he was in the hospital and had surgery. He and I became fast friends. I adored him and his precious wife. I had the privilege of taking care of him many times over the past few years. He was larger than life and such a wonderful man. I will miss him terribly.