Former state Sen. Bob Burleson dies, aged 81

Former state Sen. Robert “Bob” Burleson is being remembered this week in Roan Mountain, Elizabethton and Nashville for his many accomplishments as a legislator, businessman and restaurateur, reports the Johnson City Press.

Burleson, 81, a Republican, died at his home last weekend.

Burleson was a legislator from 1972-1986. He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives and went on to unseat three-term incumbent Marshall Nave in the 1978 race for the Tennessee Senate. During his years in the legislature much of the development of Roan Mountain State Park was accomplished.

Burleson represented the 3rd Senatorial District. That seat is now held by Sen. Rusty Crowe. Crowe said of Burleson’s passing:

“I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Sen. Bob Burleson. I considered him not only a good friend but a mentor, as well. He served the 3rd Senate District with honor and distinction. Senator Burleson was one of those retired senators that was so well-respected his name is still brought up in debate, even after all these years, as we discuss issues that affect the 3rd Senate District today.

”I was proud to honor him recently by naming the road to his beloved Roan Mountain State Park after him. In retrospect, I am glad that we were able to bestow this honor upon him prior to his passing. He will be missed, not only by his friends, family, and community in Carter County but by the entire Senate and House representing our great state.”

From the published obituary:

He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Gail Pritchard Burleson, of the home; a daughter, Scarlett Anderson and her husband, Rik, Roan Mountain; two sons, Victor Burleson and his wife, Nicole, Charleston, SC; Julian Burleson, Roan Mountain; a brother, Tom Burleson, Colfax, NC; nine grandchildren, Emmi Burleson, Megyn Jefferson and her husband, Sam, Sophi Burleson, Hobie Burleson, Alden Anderson, Baylor Anderson, Cayden Anderson, Anthony Robertson, and Tiffany Stiles; and three great-granddaughters. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

The family will receive friends from 4:00 – 7:00 PM on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Rhododendron Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Home, Roan Mountain, or at the home at any time.

The family invites you to a Celebration of Life service for Mr. Burleson at 11:00 AM on Friday, October 9, 2015 at Magill Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roan Mountain with Dr. Rev. H. Martin Christian officiating.