Dana Jay Burdette
February 20, 1955 – October 31, 2020
Remembering the Life of Dana Jay Burdette Dana Jay Burdette, 65, of Mannington was called home by his Lord and Savior on October 31, 2020 at 10:15pm at The Pittsburgh VA Medical Center after courageously battling a short illness. He was surrounded and encouraged by his loving family as he passed. Born on February 20, 1955, Dana was born to the late Clifford “Speedy” Burdette and Gloria “Joan” Bullion Burdette and had 5 brothers and sisters. Having grown up in Fayetteville, WV, Dana was a graduate of Fayetteville High School in 1974 and then enlisted in The United States Marines Corps in October of 1974, where he spent two years active duty, then four years reserves, where he achieved the rank of Corporal E4. were Camp Lejeune. His active duty in the Marines came to an end in May, 1976 and he was then on reserve duty until October, 1980 when he left The Marine Corps via honorable discharge. He married his wife and the love of his life, LeAnn (Massie) Burdette on December 22, 1978 in Pearisburg, Virginia. LeAnn had a son from a previous marriage, Daniel O’Neal, whom he took his responsibility as a Stepfather to very seriously, and loved and treated as his own. After leaving the Marines, Dana began his lifelong career working underground as a coalminer where he served as a certified electrician and mechanic. He perfected his trade and was highly regarded as a valuable asset to the many companies he offered his services to until his retirement in 2014. There were two daughters borne of the marriage: Tarah Renee Burdette (Talbert) on October 1, 1980 and Lana Colleen Burdette (Towns) on September 8, 1984. They were both “daddy’s girls,” and Dana, who loved being a husband and father, doted on LeAnn, Daniel, Tarah, and Lana. He worked long hours underground to provide for his family and ensure they had the ‘finer things in life,’ which he did undoubtedly; taking them on annual trips to Myrtle Beach (which was his favorite place in the world), amongst many other privileges. The Burdette family were members of the Salem-Gatewood Freewill Baptist Church for many years. In 1999, his youngest daughter (Lana) became pregnant at 14 years of age. Instead of shaming her and forcing her to make decisions she may later regret, Dana let her make her own mind up and said he would support whatever she chose to do 100%, and in true Dana fashion, he was a man of his word when on March 16th, 2000, Jayde Lynne Meador was born. Dana loved all of his children and grandchildren, but due to Lana and Jayde living with him for the first two years of Jayde’s life, Dana formed a unique and special bond with Jayde. She had him wrapped around her little finger from day one, and as the years went on, their bond strengthened. In the absence of Jayde’s biological father, Dana became a unique combination of father figure, grandfather, and best friend to Jayde. He referred to her as his “little sidekick,” and they loved each other unconditionally. Dana had a unique way of relating to people. Never one to put on a show or to be inauthentic, he was unapologetically himself and expected no more or less from others. Dana had a knack for making people laugh with his outrageous, witty comments. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a serious family photo of him. He was always the one in the photo making a silly face and making a pointing gesture at whichever family member he was picking on at the moment. You never knew exactly what was about to come out of his mouth, for he said what was on his mind without hesitation, and when he said anything, he said what he meant, and he meant what he said. Dana was the kind of man who wore his heart on his sleeve. There was never any guesswork to be done about how or what Dana thought of any particular situation, for he believed in full transparency and expected nothing more or less from those he surrounded himself with. Dana was very analytical. He examined every situation from every angle and took into account every possible situation and outcome. He was all heart, and he was not ashamed of it one bit. He felt things deeply, sometimes to his own detriment and had a sense of empathy that went almost too deep at times, as he felt the pain of others immensely, and often struggled with it. Another thing about Dana that set him apart from the rest was that he never lost his curiosity. Dana was a very deep thinker. He felt the need to understand the way things work on a higher level than most would, and would ask question after question, learning everything possible about whatever he was analyzing at the time until he understood it fully and completely. He saw the world a bit differently than most, and if Dana gave you his attention, you could guarantee you had his full and undivided attention for that moment in time with no distractions. He was fully present and applied himself 100% to the task at hand. After his divorce from LeAnn in 2001 due to irreconcilable differences, Dana focused on his work and family. He also had an extremely unique bond with his younger brother Scot Burdette, who was his best friend and confidante. From the outside looking in, Dana and Scot were as different as day and night, but they had a deep understanding and respect for one another, and Dana was extremely lucky to have a brother and best friend as dedicated to his happiness and well-being as Scot, and somebody who had his back as wholeheartedly. And vice-versa. Anyone lucky enough to call Dana a close friend or relative was lucky to do so, as they knew with Dana, what you see is what you get. He was loyal to a fault, he never failed to speak up when he saw what he felt was an injustice, and if he loved you, he loved you with all of his heart, and would defend you ferociously if the situation arose. He was the kind of man that would spend a fortune on the wants of another while abandoning his own needs, because he was not a materialistic man, and he would do absolutely anything to get a smile out of those he cared for, or to lend a hand to someone in need, often quietly setting his own needs aside to do so. Dana was preceded in death by his sister Belinda Aliff, his mother Gloria “Joan” Burdette, his (ex)wife LeAnn Burdette Neff, and his father Clifford “Speedy” Burdette. Left to celebrate his life are so many who mourn his death but celebrate his arrival to his true home. Multiple family members include: His brothers and sisters: Clifford and wife Barbara, Mark and wife Debby, Scot Burdette and wife Kelly, and Vickie Basham and husband Steve. His children: Daniel O’Neal and wife Angel, Tarah Burdette Talbert and partner Alby, Lana Burdette Towns and fiancé Travis Steerman. Nieces and nephews: Stacy Johns and husband Chris, Wesley Burdette, Danny Lee Burdette and wife Brittany, Nathan Burdette and wife Sara, Justin Burdette, Stephen Basham II and wife Amanda, Stephanie Yates and husband Brian. His grandchildren: Katlyn O’Neal, Brittany Lowe and husband Aaron, Zachary O’Neal, Grayson O’Neal, Noah O’Neal, Davin Davis and partner Cassidey Pennington, Tyler Talbert, Jacob Talbert, Jayde Meador, and Lance Worthen. His great-grandchildren: Cohen and Brenleigh Wright and an expected great-grandson; Tristan Davis. Two very special friends in his life: Jimmy and Tracy Sixx, who lived next door to him, but went far above and beyond performing neighborly duties, and were true and genuine friends to him, we thank you for all you have done for him. In keeping with Dana’s wishes and his love of bringing people together, a Celebration of Life ceremony will be held at Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home on Saturday, November 7th at 1:00pm and is open to the public. This is not a somber event; this is a happy occasion in which we celebrate the life of a one-of-a-kind man, son, brother, father, husband, grandfather, friend, neighbor, and person overall. Please join us and share your own memories regarding such a unique and wonderful man. This is not goodbye, this is SEE YOU LATER. We love you.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Dana Jay Burdette
Lana Burdette -Towns (youngest daughter)
November 20, 2020
What more can I say? I miss you and I think of you every single day that passes and I cannot believe this is not a dream. I miss you horribly. You are the reason I am the woman I am today, with family values, morals, standards, and strong work ethics. I talk to you often still, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that you are watching and encouraging me to do the right thing when I am conflicted. Please comfort your sidekick Jayde, she is struggling incredibly hard with your passing. I don’t know what to say or how to comfort her, but I’m sure you’d be amazing at making her feel better, because you always were. Daddy, I love you. I will miss you until we meet again. ❤️❤️ All my love, your baby girl,
November 17, 2020
Grew up with Dana - the early years. Ages 6-18. Many fond memories. Brevers. Great fun warming the bench in Junior High Basketball. Presbyterian Church. Dirt Bike ridin'. Weeknds crusin' the town.
A thousand parties here and there. Too many good times. Lost touch afterwards - (my bad). Great family - . One of the good guys, funny, warm, and old soul. Missed terribly I'm sure.
Hey Mark and Clifford - Prayers for comfort for you and your families. God Bless.
November 6, 2020
Dana was always so kind and so funny! He was a beautiful soul! Sending my love and prayers to you all! 💕
November 5, 2020
I’m so very sorry! My thoughts and prayers are with you all! I love y’all ❤️
November 3, 2020
So sorry to hear of Dana's passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I love all of you, Lee Ray
November 3, 2020
To the family of Dana Burdette..Deepest sympathy..cherish your memories.