Thursday, March 20, 2008
Paul A. Burdette, 95, of Elkview went home to be with the Lord on March 20, 2008 at home after a long illness. He has joined the Lord, his wife, Mary Bell and his son, David in his eternal home.
He was the former owner and manager of Ashmore Optical which closed in April 2007. He worked as an optician in the Charleston area for over 75 years. He started his optician apprenticeship with American Optical, and later worked for Mr. Cotton at Cotton Optical. He started at Ashmore Optical after WWII with O.L. Ashmore who promoted him to the position of dispensing optician. In 1957, he purchased Ashmore Optical Co. and retained the name of the company. He was a long term member of the Guild of Opticians and took great pride in his work. He enjoyed many of his customers over the years and always looked forward to solving their optical needs with the help of his beloved employees, who had all worked with him for the last 30 years.
During the summers, he looked forward to his weekends waterskiing and boating on the Kanawha River with family and friends. His leisure time was otherwise spent mowing his lawn astride his Power King mower and working outside. He was also an avid reader when weather would not permit him the luxury of being outside.
He served in the Navy as Chief Petty Officer on a destroyer during WWII and crossed the Atlantic 42 times during his term of duty. He was a member of Charleston Baptist Temple where he enjoyed many a church weekend retreat and the special Sunday School classes.
He was born July 26, 1912 as son of Braden B. Burdette and Grace Young Burdette. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Bell Trent Burdette, and his son, David Kenneth Burdette.
Left to cherish his memory are his two daughters, Kay Ellen Burdette Frank of Cleveland, OH and Kirtha Bell Burdette Day of Elkview ; his brother, Kenneth Russell Burdette of Charleston; his son in law, Michael Robert Frank, of Cleveland, OH and his daughter in law, Charlotte J. Rose Burdette of Elkview. He is mourned by his grandsons, Shawn C. Burdette and wife Emma of Willington, CT, Chad A. Burdette of Ravina, NY and Seth A. Burdette of Irwin, PA and his granddaughters, Jessica K. Day Mason of Frederick MD, and Valerie R. Day of Elkview and many nieces and nephews.
On Thurday evening, March 20 my grandfather passed away, he was 95 (almost 96) years young. While it came as no surprise since his health had taken a down turn, it still hurts to see a member of the family go. The thing that makes it worse was that being so far away that I didn't get to see him as much as I used to since moving to New York. Before moving to New York I lived with him during the time I spent between finishing graduate degrees.
The past week for me was a very exhausting and draining one physically, emotionally and mentally. After talking with my aunt the night he passed away the arrangements had not yet been made but were going to take place after Easter. Thinking I would have at least Monday to make my plans to attend the services so I dropped my suit which I had just had altered off at the dry cleaners Friday morning with the intention of picking it up Monday before I left to go to WV. I was 2/3 the way to my older brothers house later that day (to have Easter dinner with his in-laws) my mother called and said "What's your plans" to which I replied ...going to Conn. She then proceeded to tell me that the visitation was Monday and the funeral Tuesday. Not knowing what my brothers plans were at that time I continued to Conn. as planned.
I ended up leaving Boston at 1:45 pm on Sunday after having Easter lunch, drove back over to Albany got to the house at 4pm picked up my suit which my landlord got from the cleaners for me and then left the house at 4:30pm drove all the way to Morgantown, WV arriving at my friends place at 12:30 am. I did not get to sleep until almost 2am that night because my brain was still driving. The whole trip took me through seven states and I only stopped for gas 3 times. I finally got home Monday about 1pm and was still tired from the night before. I finally returned
My grandfather was an amazing and wonderful man. He finally retired at the age of 94 last year when the decision was made to close the optical shop. Words are not enough and I don't have enough space to write all the memories that I had with my grandfather. While I am sad to that he is no longer with us I do know that he lived a full life and is now reunited with his wife and son(my dad) in heaven. While I never got to "say goodbye" in his last days I am sure he knew that he was loved by both firends and family and that he touched us all during his time with us.