Dr. James Wareham Burnham Jr.
October 19, 1929 – May 5, 2020
Dr. James Burnham, Jr. passed away in peace on May 5, 2020.
Born October 19, 1929, Jim made the most of his 90 years and had an extraordinary life. He was a gifted and respected physician in Macon, a great son to his parents as an only child, devoted husband to his wife Anne for 62 years, wonderful father of five children, grandfather to eleven, and great-grandfather to four, and known affectionately as our beloved “Daddy B.” He is preceded in death by his parents, James Wareham Burnham, Sr. and Sarah Myrtice (Reeder) Burnham, of Macon, wife Mary Anne Gaines Burnham, and son, James Wareham Burnham, III “Chip” of Roswell. Jim attended Lanier High School in Macon (Beta Honors and Honor Board, ROTC) where he graduated in 1947. He then went on to Mercer University where he was a member of Sigma Nu and graduated magna cum laude in 1951. He entered Medical College of Georgia in Augusta graduating in 1955 and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. In 1956, during his residency years at Macon Hospital, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served both active and reserve until 1963. His active duty included being a medical officer aboard the USS Canberra stationed out of Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to Macon to open his private practice at 1923 Jeffersonville Road in 1958 and practiced until 1991 serving the residents of Cross Keys location. In 1969, during his private practice years, he and three other physicians formed the first emergency room call group at what became known as Medical Center of Central Georgia. He obtained a license to practice medicine in the state of Florida by passing their medical boards but never practiced there. After private practice, he worked for Robins AFB for six years after training in the newer discipline of occupational medicine, then for Caduceus Occupational Medicine and Heartworks Cardiac Rehab before retiring in 2008 at 79 years young. Jim was always able to reinvent himself as a physician by starting in general practice where he even delivered babies, to family practice and care for all generations, to a newer kind of medicine that fit the working people of Macon and Warner Robins. Jim enjoyed many pursuits during his life. His proudest accomplishment he would admit was raising his family. While working and doing this, he taught himself how to fly an airplane and got a pilot’s license. He bought a couple of vintage automobiles in need of repair and taught himself how to repair them and get them running on the road. His father taught him to love golf at a young age when he would take him to Idle Hour Country Club and it would become his favorite passionate hobby that he would pass on to his sons and grandsons . He was a member of Riverside Golf and Country Club and River North Country Club, and the Dixie Seniors Golf Group. During the past few years he enjoyed playing in golf scrambles with his sons and grandsons. Jim was very active and healthy, exercising at the Wellness Center six days a week. He and his wife Anne were faithful and active long-standing members of Riverside United Methodist Church. They raised their five children in the church and Jim served on many boards; most recently the finance committee. He taught Sunday School and was co-president and a member of the Beaty Gray Sunday School class. Jim is survived by his son Matt and his wife Cindy of Marietta, son Robert and his wife Marty of Macon, daughter Carol of Macon, and daughter Joy Williams and husband Wes of Marietta. In addition, grandchildren Jon Burnham and his wife Rikki of Roswell, Lauren Burnham of Los Angeles, Kaylee Crockett and husband Jeff of Birmingham, Taylor Burnham of New Orleans, Megan Burnham of Astoria, NY, Kathleen Davis and husband Ryan Davis of Kennesaw, Gaines Elmore and wife Ashley of Warner Robins, Mason Elmore and wife Kelsey of Tampa, Griffin Elmore of Warner Robins, Grant Williams and Claire Williams of Marietta. Great grandchildren include Tyler and Rose Burnham of Roswell, Harrison Davis of Kennesaw and Kloe Elmore of Warner Robins.
A private graveside service will be held with the family. At a later date, a memorial service and celebration of life is planned. For those who wish to honor Dr. James Burnham, the family knows that he would like for donations to go to Riverside United Methodist Church, 735 Pierce Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31204. Visit www.snowscs.com to express tributes. Snow’s Memorial Chapel, Cherry Street, has charge of arrangements.
- Jim is survived by his son Matt and his wife Cindy of Marietta, son Robert and his wife Marty of Macon, daughter Carol of Macon, and daughter Joy Williams and husband Wes of Marietta. In addition, grandchildren Jon Burnham and his wife Rikki of Roswell, Lauren Burnham of Los Angeles, Kaylee Crockett and husband Jeff of Birmingham, Taylor Burnham of New Orleans, Megan Burnham of Astoria, NY, Kathleen Davis and husband Ryan Davis of Kennesaw, Gaines Elmore and wife Ashley of Warner Robins, Mason Elmore and wife Kelsey of Tampa, Griffin Elmore of Warner Robins, Grant Williams and Claire Williams of Marietta. Great grandchildren include Tyler and Rose Burnham of Roswell, Harrison Davis of Kennesaw and Kloe Elmore of Warner Robins.
Learn more about the Burnham name
Riverside United Methodist Church
735 Pierce Avenue, Macon, GA 31204
Private Graveside Service
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Dr. James Wareham Burnham Jr.
May 13, 2020
Richard and I are so sorry about the loss of Dr. Jim. He was such a kind man, and a wonderful neighbor. We will miss him so much. Praying God will comfort you in your loss.
May 13, 2020
Dr Jim was a gentle soul who had a smile and time for all. He will be greatly missed at Riverside and my prayers go out to his family who will miss him most of all. He passed as he hoped; quietly and with little fanfare. Our Lord has received him with great joy!
May 8, 2020
I first met Dr. Burnham in the Medical Center emergency room. I was a medical student at the time and he and his group ran the ER. He was generous with his knowledge and he taught me a lot . He was a great teacher and role model for me. Dr. Burnham was a great Doctor.
Norman Smith MD
Sharion Noble Arrington
May 7, 2020
I, along with my family, am very saddened to hear of Dr. Burnham’s passing. I was one of his very first patients at the Cross Keys area office where he practiced medicine for so many years. I was fifteen months old, and he saved my life. That began a very long friendship between my parents, Bob and Jeanette Noble, with Dr. and Mrs. Burnham. We all truly felt he was part of our family, and we loved him. My path continued to cross his path numerous times over the years, even as an adult working on Robins AFB, when he was in the Occupational Medical area. Mother and I most recently saw him at Ortho Ga. It always amazed me that he knew us immediately, and recalled details after so many years. He truly was an extraordinary gentleman and physician, touching so many lives in such a memorable way. I know you will all miss him forever. Please know we hold your family close in thought and prayer during this difficult time.
May 7, 2020
dr Burnham was my childhood doctor I remember his office was beside Pitmans. Grocery store. He was always kind and considerate of me,my brother and sisters we would go to him often for poison Ivey And various other problemshe will be missed by many.
May 7, 2020
I remember how kind and positive Uncle Jim always was. He always had words of encouragement when needed and made sure to tell me he loved me and was proud of me. He, and Aunt Anne, always made me feel loved. He loved his family with all his heart!
May 6, 2020
My mother, Ann Smollar, was his nurse in his Cross Keys office for many years. He would even let me come sit in his office with him and chat. I always as a teenager loved kidding with him. He was a great blessing to my family as well as to many others. He will be greatly missed. We lost a great man who loved life, his family and the medical profession. Family, you don’t know me but my prayers are with you all. Blessings, Rev. Lee Smollar.
May 6, 2020
I first met Dr. Burnham at the Wellness Center; he was a delightful man with a beautiful smile and a kind word to absolutely everyone he saw. It was several weeks later that I saw him at church, Riverside United Methodist Church, when I happened to attend the traditional service instead of the early service. From that day on, I received a warm hug from him and we would chat about how things were going. Sometimes, when I would ask how he was doing, he would say, "as my wife used to say if you're above the grass, it's a good day." Incredibly sorry for the family's loss; he will be so missed by everyone who knew him, including me. I know that he is rejoicing with Jesus in heaven; one day, we'll see him again!