COLUMBIA Dr. Harvey L. Burnette, Jr., 92, passed away December 19, 2012, after a brief illness.
Born June 4, 1920 in Cheraw, South Carolina, he was the son of the late Harvey L. and Margaret Burk Burnette. He graduated from Cheraw High School in 1938 where he was the Senior Class President. He attended the University of South Carolina, earning the Thornwell Award in Physics, and graduated in 1942 with a B.S. Degree. He completed his education at the Medical University of South Carolina, graduating in 1945 after holding the office of President of the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity.
Dr. Burnette served his country as a Captain in the United States Air Force Medical Department from 1946-1948. Following an honorable military discharge, he established a general medical practice offering family, obstetric and pediatric care in rural Anson County, North Carolina, also serving Chesterfield County, South Carolina residents, 1948-1960. He was on the staff and the Executive Committee of Anson County Memorial Hospital, Wadesboro, NC. He also was a member of the Morehead Scholarship Foundation 1957-1960, and held the position of President of the Anson County Medical Society in 1958. During this period he regularly made house calls at all hours of the day and night, every day of the year, often delivering babies in their homes. Payment sometimes was in the form of bushels of corn or freshly-slaughtered chickens.
In 1960, Dr. Burnette accepted a position on the medical staff of the Student Health Service, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, and was promoted to Chief of Staff and Director in 1963 as a tenured Professor. A new health service program and facility were developed for the University under his leadership. Dr. Burnette was elected President of the Ohio College Health Association for two terms.
In 1968, he returned to South Carolina as Director of the USC Student Health Center. From 1971 through 1985, Dr. Burnette served as Chief of Medical Surgical Service for the SC Department of Mental Health and as Director of the Byrnes Medical Center. He also was the medical consultant for the Bryan Psychiatric Hospital.
Dr. Burnette is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Ratliff Burnette; four daughters, M. Malissa Burnette and her husband, Michael G. LeFever of Columbia, Mary Margaret Burnette of Pinehurst, N.C., M. Melanie Burnette LeFevre of Lancaster, Penn., and M. Michele Burnette of Columbia. He also is survived by eight grandchildren, Grant Burnette LeFever, Walter Elder, Katherine Elder, Lucas Elder, Graeson Burnette-Peake, Abigail Burnette-Peake, Savannah LeFevre, and Ian Redmon Burnette. He was predeceased by a sister, Thayer B. Sweet and a daughter, Mary Marsha Burnette.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. in Boyce Chapel at First Baptist Church in Columbia. The family will greet friends after the service until 2:00 p.m. in the community room at Middleborough, 1825 St. Julian Place, Columbia, SC 29204.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to Harvest Hope Food Bank at 2220 Shop Road, Columbia, SC 29201, or to a charity of one’s choice.