Mr. Inman Jerry Burford of Griffin, age 79, passed away on Thursday, September 5, 2019.
Jerry was born in Jackson, Georgia on January 21, 1940 to Paul Thaddeus Burford and Bessie L. Smith Burford. He was a very hard worker from an early age having worked on a cousin’s dairy farm and in grocery stores as a teenager before joining the Navy after his high school graduation. Due to a serious car accident while on leave, he received an honorable discharge from his military service. Jerry was known to be an incredible roller skater, turning cartwheels on the wooden skating rink at Indian Springs, where he impressed many, including his future wife. He then began a 39-year career with Central Georgia EMC, with most of his years being spent as a lineman.
Jerry is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Brenda Jones Burford and his sister Betty McMichael. He is survived by his three children: Nina Fowler and husband Hal, Jay Burford and wife Patricia, and Bart Burford and wife Betsy. He loved being “Granddeddy” to his seven grandchildren: Meredith Craddock (Justin), Bess Fowler-Bellezza (Adam), Hannah Burford, Aubrey Fowler, Tanner Burford (Sara), Marsh Burford (girlfriend Ansley Clanton), and Brenna Fowler. He also had four special great-grandchildren: Vada, Maven, and Isla Bellezza and Bennett Craddock. He is also survived by his brother, Thad Burford.
Jerry’s influence spread beyond his family. For many years, he coached two ball teams each season and many Griffinites today remember him as Coach Jerry. He was a lifelong hunter and marksman and was looking forward to the upcoming deer season. Jerry had been a member of the Griffin Gun Club for over 40 years serving on the board as Safety Officer. He also enjoyed mentoring many 4-H students on various shooting teams.
Jerry never met a stranger and was willing to help anyone do anything. He was never without a pocket full of peppermints that he was always happy to share. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. We will all miss his whistling, his storytelling and especially his singing of “Happy Birthday” to each of us every year. He was a great and good man.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Jerry Burford on Sunday evening, September 8, at the Griffin Gun Club; 550 Amelia Rd, Griffin. Visitation will be held at 5:30 p.m. with a memorial to follow at 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, family and friends will pay homage to Jerry with a special shotgun tribute.