Robert Eugene Burley, Sr., born June 9, 1924 and only child of Robert G. and Hazel M. Burley, passed March 28, 2021.
“Bob” was born in Piqua, Ohio, but his family later moved to his hometown of Troy, Ohio. He graduated from Troy High School in 1942 and left to enlist in the United States Army Air Force. As a World War II veteran, he served in the Gunnery Training Squadron. He was stationed in Laredo where he met the “Love of his Life”, Joyce Jean Brady. They were married in 1944 and began their 72-year love story.
They settled down in San Benito where Bob began his 37-year career as Transmission Line Foreman for the Central Power and Light Southern Division. He played on the CPL softball team and later in life, coached little league baseball. He was an avid baseball fan and of course, cheered on the “Cincinnati Reds”.
As an architect, he left his footprint in the Rio Grande Valley, designed residential and commercial properties. To his credit, he still has over 70 of his original blueprints, dating back to the 1950’s. This collection remains one of his greatest accomplishments.
Bob enjoyed golf and had a special group of friends he played with every week. He won several trophies, but took even greater pleasure driving his grandchildren around in his golf cart.
As he adjusted from being an Ohio “Buckeye” to a “Rio Grande Texan”, he had the privilege of making great friends. He shared many wonderful memories with the Smiths, Vaughns, Palmers, Jacksons and Finches. The Burleys made twelve, and Bob is the last of the “Dirty Dozen”.
Bob loved music. He played the accordion, piano and organ, and has a much admired vinyl collection. He especially enjoyed playing duets with his dear friend and fiddle player, Buddy Goode.
To know Bob, would be to enjoy his amazing stories, many dating back to his boyhood. He was known for his dry wit and great sense of humor.
Bob was a builder! His work was meticulous and his projects occupied much of his time. From building furniture to knocking down walls and adding new ones, his home of 72 years was evidence of his many talents.
He was generous and always willing to lend a hand. A member of the San Benito Church of Christ, he served as a deacon, and was a devout Christian. He unselfishly dedicated his time and, if a job needed done, everyone knew to, “ask Bob”.
He was “Daddy” to his surviving children Barbara Jean Schweers (Gordon) and Rob Burley. To his grandchildren Heather Conley (Matt), Brady Burley, Tommy Richey and Kate Olivarez, and great grandchildren Aidan, Griffin, Malcolm Conley, Andrew Burley and Braddock Olivarez, he was “Grandpa”.
He had a tender heart, gentle and joyful spirit, and lived an incredible life. He will forever be loved and respected and there will truly never be another Bob Burley. Now it’s time to share stories about him.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to his caregiver and friend, Sabina Rangel, and her family members who contributed to Bob’s care.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. R.G. Burley and his wife Joyce Jean Burley. His heart belonged to his beloved Joyce, and though he never fully recovered after her passing, his faith continued to sustain him for the remainder of his 96 years.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home (mask required). A graveside service will take place on Friday, April 2, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito (mask required).
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.
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