October 19, 2019 at 5:22 a.m.

James Burkett

Sept. 28, 1927-Oct. 17, 2019

James R. Burkett, age 92, of Dunkirk and a former Portland resident passed away Thursday evening Oct. 17, 2019, at his residence.

He was born in Marion, Ohio on Sept. 28, 1927, the son of Fred and Ana (McGriff) Burkett. He was married in 1949 to Donna Crouse and she died in 1981. He was remarried on July 10, 1988, to Cheryl Burk, who survives.

He was retired as a mail carrier and had also worked at Sheller-Globe, The Flower Nook and Tom Raper. He was a 1946 Portland High School graduate and served in the National Guard. He was a Boy Scout leader, enjoyed square dancing and was a member of Integris Community Church. He was an avid sports fan, especially the Indianapolis Colts.

Surviving are his wife Cheryl; two sons, Bradley Burkett (wife: Debbie) of Berne and Frank Burkett (wife: Beth) of Hilliard, Ohio; step-son Wade Smelser (wife: Deionna) of Bluffton; step-daughter Natalie Smelser of Muncie; sister-in-law Barb E. Mills of Dunkirk; three grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, 12 step-great-grandchildren; five step-great-great-grandchildren; and favorite nieces Tina Rocci and Linda Huston.

He was preceded in death by a son, Stanley Burkett.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, at 2 p.m. in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home with Pastor Greg Haisley presiding. Burial will follow in the Lawndale Cemetery in Ridgeville. Visitation will be Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Memorials can be made to Jay County Cancer Society.

Condolences may be expressed online at bairdfreeman.com.
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