Orson Burlingame

Orson Burlingame, 90, of Maryville passed away Friday, January 7, 2011. He was born at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio on July 19, 1920. When he was four years old, his maternal grandmother, Mathilda Brooks, brought him to Hazel Creek, North Carolina. He attended school in both Bryson City, North Carolina and Columbus and spent summers on Hazel Creek. At fifteen, Burlingame joined the Civilian Conservation Corps to build and repair trails, dams, bridges, and roads in the Smoky Mountains and western North Carolina. In 1940, Burlingame began work at ALCOA and then volunteered for the U.S. Marine Corps. From the U.S.S. Young America, he fought in British Samoa. The third Marine Corps divisions were stationed in New Caledonia and then led the campaign for Guadalcanal. Burlingame was wounded, receiving the Purple Heart, after eighteen nightly attacks on Peralta Island off the coast of Bougainville Island. After two and a half months of hospitalization, he returned to his outfit. He was transferred to Guam, during clean up operations forming an MP company and running an American brig there. After the war, Burlingame returned to his job at ALCOA. He married Yvonne Line and had three children. In his later years, he enjoyed the company of his friends and family, collecting all manner of antiques and memorabilia, and taking road trips, mostly in the mountains. Burlingame was honored with other WWII veterans this past October in Washington, D.C. He was know for his incredible charm, great ability to spin a yarn and sense of humor. He will be terribly missed by his friends and family. Preceded in death by: Parents, Orson Paul Burlingame and Lillie Brooks Burlingame; Brother, David Burlingame; Sister, Ruth Brown. Survivors include: Sister, Naomi Beller of Upland, CA; Son, Richard Burlingame of Kingston; Son, Eddie Burlingame of Knoxville; Daughter, Debbie Richesin of Maryville and their respective spouses, Hoa Burlingame, Linda Burlingame, and Don Richesin. Grandchildren, Wayne Burlingame & wife Sunday, Holly Hipp & husband Bryan, Aaron Burlingame & wife Jessica, Angie Romines & husband Matt, John Ed Burlingame & wife Courtney all of Knoxville, Andrea Richesin & husband Joel Warwick of San Rafael, CA, and Wendy Richesin-Dodd & husband Colin of Hillsborough, NC; Great-Grandchildren, Cody Hipp, Tristan Hipp, Isabella Burlingame, Ian Burlingame, Noah Romines, Nathan Romines, Ava Richesin-Dodd, Harper Richesin-Dodd, and Olivia Warwick. Our heartfelt gratitude to Jean Mercer & Blount Memorial Hospice for their love and support in his final days. Family and friends will assemble for graveside service and interment at 1:00 PM, Monday, January 10, 2011 at Grandview Mausoleum Chapel with Rev. Jim Malone officiating. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.smithmortuary.com.

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