Obituary: Burnie Waters, Jr.


On Oct. 13, 2022, Burnie Waters Jr., loving husband and father, passed away at the age of 97.

Burnie was born Jan. 10, 1925, in Bethlehem, Penn., to Burnie and Alice (Frey) Waters.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1943, and served on a transport ship in the Pacific as a corpsman during WWII. He was called back to serve in 1950 as a Navy Corpsman for the Marine Corps during the Korean War and was stationed at Camp Lejeune.

He continued to serve in the Navy Reserves until 1985, when he retired with 40 years active duty and reserves. He was a life member of the VFW with over 75 years of continuous membership. He was also a life member of the American Legion, AmVets Navy Enlisted Reserves and Franklin Lodge No. 31.

Burnie learned to play the drums at an early age. He started his own band in high school.

In 1960, he moved his family to Jackson, Wyo.

He played his drums at both the Cowboy Bar and the Wort with many different bands including The Silver Dollar Boys, Jack May, Ray Weeks, Palisade Ramblers, Lew Walker and the Western Playboys. He also played on the Grand Ole Opry tour with Bob Wills and Tubb Ernest Old-timers will remember Rusty Draper, Homer and Jethro and Christi & Coats performed at the Wort; Burnie was the drummer for all of them.

In 1972, Burnie joined the Jack Melick Orchestra, a 17-member big band based in Dallas, Texas. He spent 17 winters in Dallas and summers in Pinedale, Wyo., where he had a painting business. He played his drums until his early ‘90s.

Burnie was a friendly, outgoing person. He never met a stranger. He had many hobbies. He loved photography and was a prolific collector.

Burnie was preceded in death by his father Burnie, Sr., mother Alice and his brother Gene.

He is survived by his wife, Patty, daughter, Carol Harris and several nieces and nephews.

Military graveside services will be held at the Pinedale Cemetery on June 13 at 11 a.m.

Services will be followed by a luncheon at VFW Post No. 4801 at 1033 Pine St., in Pinedale.