JAMES “MIKE” BURNETT
PORT O’CONNOR — James Michael Burnett, 70, died unexpectedly the evening of October 3, 2021 as result of a motorcycle accident.
Mike is survived by his wife and partner of forty-plus years, Arlene “Sam” Hambly Burnett; his sisters Gail Burnett DiGeronimo, and Sue Burnett/Tom Hoke, and his brother Patrick Burnett, his nephew Chris Stadler/Kristie Scott, great nephews Jax and Jett Stadler; niece Angela DiGeronimo/Ailee Laham, great niece Maya Laham and great nephew Michael Laham; nephew James Hoke and great niece Alice Hoke; niece Molly Hoke/Jonathan Fleming, and great nephews Clayton and Wyatt Fleming, and many cousins and other family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret Inez Williams/James August Burnett Jr., his grandparents John Taylor Williams/Minnie Lea Grant, and James August Burnett Sr./Juanita Chapmond.
Mike was born on April 5, 1951 in Olney, Texas. His family moved to the Houston area in 1958. He got his high school G.E.D. from San Jacinto Junior College in 1970. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1971 to 1973, and attended Polaris Electronics and Guidance System School and also worked in Electronics and Fire Control Systems. He became a certified scuba diver in 1980.
In 1984 he received his certification as a Mortimer-Filkins Court Test Administrator/Evaluator from the Texas Adult Probation Commission/Texas Alcoholism Commission. He completed his Chemical Abuse Counseling Certification at the University of Houston from 1985-1986.
After the US Navy, he worked for 31+ years at Johnson Space Center as a Metrology & Calibration Technician from 1973 until he retired from Lockheed Martin in 2003, and Mike & Sam moved to Port O’Connor that year.
Mike was a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous and would have celebrated 38 years of sobriety on October 28, 2021. He lived his life by the principles of this program and had a lasting impact on so many people through the fellowship of AA.
In Port O’Connor, Mike & Sam joined the Texas Master Naturalist program, which led Mike to many successful years as a turtle patroller on the Texas coast, looking for endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea turtles and their nests. Mike was an avid beach-comber and fisherman. He got his Guide Captain license after moving to Port O’Connor. He enjoyed flounder gigging and any kind of saltwater fishing., and maintained a small “Beach-Combing Museum” in his shop building in Port O’Connor; he was known far and wide as the “Texas Sea-Bean King.” He & Sam travelled every October for many years to Cocoa Beach, Florida, to attend the International Sea-Bean Symposium, and also to Galveston, Texas, when the Symposium began alternating between the two locations. He loved riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, “Mariah”, and rode all over the U.S., including Alaska, on his bike. He rode with “The Click” motorcycle club of Victoria, Texas, and was a member of The Woodlands Harley Owners Group in The Woodlands, Texas. He was just a few miles from his home in Port O’Connor after a 10-day ride with The Woodlands group when he hit a deer and passed away as a result of his injuries.
No funeral is planned; Mike will be cremated as per his wishes. An informal gathering of friends and family will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church parish hall to celebrate his life.
“True to every trust and faithful until death” – these are words Mike saw on one of his many motorcycle trips; on returning home, he told Sam he thought there was nothing more a man could hope for than to have these words describe his life. He was a kind, humble, giving man with a beautiful soul, who impacted the lives of so many on his journey. He will be deeply missed.
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