Ralph D. Burnette, Jr., 78, of Marion, North Carolina, passed away Sunday, August 21, 2022 at the Charles George VA Medical Center.
He was born in Cedartown, Georgia on April 19, 1944 to the late Ralph D. Burnette, Sr. and Thelma Malline Watson Burnette.
Ralph, a three-sport athlete, graduated from Salem High School in 1962. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies after high school and played with minor league teams in Spartanburg and Miami. After his baseball career ended due to injury, he served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He played both basketball and softball in the Industrial League after his service, though baseball was where his heart was at. His hitting and pitching skills were unmatched. Ralph will be remembered as a talented athlete, an avid sports fan, and as one of the finest athletes to come out of Burke County. Ralph was employed at Leviton Southern Devices as department manager for over 40 years. Following retirement, Ralph enjoyed spending time with his family and traveling.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Linda Crisp Burnette; three children, Sue Burnette Lowdermilk, Eddie Clark, and Barry Burnette; four grandchildren, Mandy Stevenson (Preston), Mary Beth Clark, Anna Clark, and Cullen Burnette; three great grandchildren, Anna Grace Stevenson, Noah Stevenson, and Ezra Stevenson; his brother, Harold Burnette (Pat); and two nephews.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at Yancey Street Baptist Church in Marion with Pastor Dean Owenby officiating. No formal visitation will be held.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org or Manna Food Bank at www.mannafoodbank.org.