Ronnel O. Burney, 73, passed away Monday, January 17, 2022. Ronnel was the fourth child born to George and Georgianner Burney on February 24, 1948. He was a phenomenal husband, daddy, grandaddy, brother, uncle, and friend to many.
As a teenager when his father became incapacitatingly ill, Ronnel worked a full-time job so he could financially support his parents and his younger sister and brother. Despite his lack of a college education, Ronnel was intelligent and became extremely successful in the field of automotive parts and service, working for over 50 years in the industry and earning a reputation as the best anywhere around. He later made sure that his two sons earned college degrees.
When Ronnel and his wife, Ann Rush Burney, married, he was absolutely convinced that was the best thing he ever did. Ann was his best friend and biggest advocate; they made an awesome couple. Ronnel and Ann created a happy home and raised two fine sons.
Ronnel’s sons were literally the pride and joy of his life. Whether his boys were playing or – after they became adults – coaching sports, Ronnel was at every game and many practices, sitting on the front row and pulling vocally for his sons’ teams. Football, basketball, and baseball were his favorite sports because those were the sports his boys loved. No game was too far away and no weather was too cold to keep Ronnel away from supporting his sons in their athletic pursuits. Ronnel was an avid N.C. State, Whiteville Wolfpack, and Clarkton Dixie Youth Baseball fan.
Ronnel’s life became much sweeter with the birth of his beautiful granddaughter, Jolie. After raising two sons, Ronnel’s “Sweetie Pie” introduced him to baby dolls, hair bows, cheerleading, dance, kittens, and all things pink – and he loved every minute of it. Ronnel was the best “Girl Granddaddy” ever!
After the death of his older brothers, Ronnel became the patriarch of his extended family. His many nieces and nephews looked to him for guidance, advice, and approval, and he loved them all as if they were his own children. The Burneys will be absolutely lost without Ronnel, and they will miss him terribly.
Ronnel was predeceased by his parents, George and Georgianner Burney; brothers, James Robert (Jim), Charles F. (Buddy) Burney, Walt (Peat-C) Burney, and Marvin Burney; and father-in-law, Graham Rush.
His survivors include his wife, Ann Rush Burney; sons, Todd Burney (Carrie) of Whiteville, and Graham Burney of the home; granddaughter, Jolie Burney of Whiteville; sister, Geraldine “Sissie” Edge (David) of White Oak; Mother-in-law, Ronnie Bridgers Rush; sisters-in-law, Linda Burney of Elizabethtown, Marsha Burney of Clarkton, Dean Ellison (David) of New Bern, and Jean Cross of Clarkton. Sisters and brothers-in-law, Beth and Larry Hammond, and Emily and Steve Williams, all of Clarkton. He is also survived by nieces and nephews Frankie Burney (Christy), Lori Burney, Noel Dennis (John), Robbie Burney (Karen), Melanie Collier (Rodney), Cory Singletary (Ron), Christopher Barnes (Angie), Macon Hammond, Kelsey Hammond, JR Hammond (Chella) , Josh Hammond (Valerie), Jessica Fetsch (Derek) and Casey Frost (Randy); great nieces and nephews, Whitney Burney-Sult (BJ), Sky Burney, Marissa Smith (Clayton), Jacob Gonzalez, Summer Singletary, Tripp Burney, Paisley Singletary, Caleb Barnes, Jared Barnes, and Isabella Barnes; great-great nieces and nephews, Riley Grace Burney, Lauren Smith, Hunter Sult, Aubree Burney, and Bristol Smith; special cousin, Sarah Anglin; honorary grandson, Brandon Powell, and multiple cousins.
A visitation will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday, January 20 with the funeral service to follow at 2:00pm at Clarkton Presbyterian Church. Rev. Wayne Bernardo and Rev. Barrett Ingram will officiate service. Burial will follow at White Plains Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
While flowers will be accepted, the family would be honored if you would consider making a donation to either Clarkton Dixie Youth Baseball, PO Box 1133 Clarkton, NC 28433 or Athletic Association of Whiteville, 413 North Lee Street, Whiteville, NC 28472 Attention: Todd Burney
At other times, the family will receive friends at the home of John and Noel Dennis 2073 S. Page Road Clarkton, NC 28433.