Elder Garthel Lewis (G. L.) Burr, age 97, of Converse entered into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, January 4, 2020. He was known as “Papa” or “Uncle Garthel” to his family and “Bro. Burr” or “Preacher Burr” to his friends. Services were held today, January 7, 2020 at 2:00 PM at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Mansfield with Bro. Arthur Blevins of Aztec, NM and Bro. Larry Wilson of Oakdale, LA, officiating. Interment followed at Lee Cemetery in Mansfield. Visitation was held Monday, January 6, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM in the Rose-Neath Mansfield Chapel.
He was born on January 10, 1922 in the Catuna Community and was the patriarch of five generations of family. He was one of sixteen children born to Charles Wesley and Pearlee Ross Burr of Sabine Parish.
He was a soldier times two in that he served in the United States Army Air Force, 20th Air Force, 58th wing based in Greenville, SC during World War II plus served his Lord as a Baptist minister for over 67 years. He also worked at Nabors Trailers in Mansfield for almost 30 years.
Bro. Burr trusted Jesus as his Savior in July 1949. He preached his first sermon on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1952 and became an ordained minister in March 1953.
He established Community Missionary Baptist Church in the Catuna Community in November 1960. He served as the church’s only pastor and was the last chartered member of the church. He also preached at many Baptist churches and Bible conferences throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Many preachers who visited Community Baptist said that they had more freedom to preach in that pulpit than any other church where they delivered sermons. In addition to preaching the truth of God’s word, Bro. Burr also enjoyed hunting, gardening, eating fried catfish, and watching wrestling.
He was preceded in death by his parents; 14 brothers and sisters; his wife of almost 50 years, Ruth Elizabeth Vandiver Burr; his son, Clomar Burr, Sr.; grandson, Jason Burr; son-in-law, Floyd Kennedy plus several minister friends.
Bro. Burr is survived by his wife, Natalie, of Bossier Parish; daughter, Nona Cormier, of Converse; daughter-in-law, Eaddie Burr of Mansfield; grandsons Clomar Burr, Jr. and wife, Sheila, of Aurora, MO, Wayne Burr and wife, Dee, of Converse, and Terry Kennedy, and wife, Lorry, of Converse; granddaughter, Pansy Kennedy, of Dallas, TX; granddaughter-in-law, Karen Burr, of Mansfield; brother, Medford Burr and wife, Sue, of Greenville, TX; sister-in-law, Aleta Burr of Many, LA; his favorite niece, Freda Phelps; nine great-grandchildren – Catilya, Krystal, Rayelene, T. J., Dakota, Zachary, Coleton, Dylan, and Austin; and twelve great-great grandchildren plus a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.
Pallbearers were his three grandsons plus his three oldest great-grandsons, T. J. Kennedy, Dakota Burr, and Zach Kennedy.
Honorary Pallbearers were nephew, W.C. Ramie, long-time friend and neighbor, Gale Golden, his three younger great-grandsons, Coleton Burr, Dylan Kennedy, and Austin Burr plus his four great-great grandsons, Jonah Meshell, Justin Reed, Jr., Josiah Meshell, and Landon Kennedy.
Bro. Burr’s family extends their gratefulness to the staff of Superior Hospice for the extremely, wonderful loving care given to our papa during his illness.