John Willis Burr

February 12, 1940 ~ August 24, 2019 (age 79)

LOWVILLE – John Willis Burr, 79, of Eugene Street, passed away Saturday morning, August 24, 2019, at his home.

John was born on February 12, 1940 in Lowville, a son of the late Morris S. and Eleanor Buckley Burr.   He graduated from General Martin High School in 1957 and from Canton ATC in 1959 with an associate’s degree in agricultural business.  John worked for GLF (Grain & League Federation) from 1959 until 1962.  He served in the U.S. Army as a medic from August 22, 1962 until October 25, 1965, serving for 13 months in Korea.  After his service, John returned to work for GLF.  On April 16, 1966 he married Carole Ann Eaton at Beaver Falls United Methodist Church with Rev. Richard Northrup officiating.  From 1967 until 1983, John worked for Beaverite in Beaver Falls before working as general insurance agent for various agencies until 2000.  He began working for Kinney Drugs in October 2002.

John was a member of B.P.O.E. 1605, Lowville Elks Lodge.  He was a past member of the NYS Association of Agricultural Fairs where he served on the board of directors for over 40 years.  He was a member of the Lewis County Agricultural Society Fair Board since 1974, and announced at eight county fairs in New York State and Canada.  He was a member of the NYS Tractor Pullers Association and was honored by his induction into the NYTPA Hall of Fame in 2016.  John was a member of the National Ski Patrol, serving as patrol leader at Snow Ridge from 1966 until 1990, and served as one of the first EMTs in Lewis County.  In 1961, he founded little league baseball in Turin.  He was active with high school sporting events since 1986.

John was the voice of North Country auto racing since 1967.  Starting on August 6, 1967, he was a founder of Evans Mills Speedway.  He served as track announcer for Evans Mills Speedway, Can Am Speedway, and Adirondack Speedway.  He was the track announcer at Super Dirt Week at the NYS Fairgrounds for several years.

He is survived by his wife of over 53 years, Carole; a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Stephen Waitson of Kingston, Ontario, and their children, Sarah, Katharine, Stephanie, Kerry, Steph and Matthew; a son, Timothy Burr and fiancé Meridith Diacetis of Black River, and his two daughters, Meghan and Kaitlyn; a sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Gerald Saeva of Brockport, NY; nieces, nephews and cousins.

The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Iseneker Funeral Home, Inc., with Rev. Bruce W. Chapman, officiating   Burial with Military Honors will follow in Lowville Rural Cemetery.  A Celebration of Life gathering at the Lowville Elks Lodge will be immediately following the burial.  Calling hours will be from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2019, prior to the funeral service, at the funeral home.  Contributions in his memory may be made to Friends of Lewis County Hospice, P.O. Box 266, Lowville, NY  13367.

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