Dee James Burnett

Dee James Burnett, age 85, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at South Lincoln Medical Center, in Kemmerer, surrounded by family.

He was born July 3, 1938, in Roy, Utah, to Percy and Velma (Barton) Burnett. The family moved to Kemmerer in 1947, where Dee met Joan Wiatrowski, whom he married in the Salt Lake Temple on Aug. 28, 1957.

After graduating from Kemmerer High School in 1956, Dee opened his own gas and service station, started distribution businesses with All-Star Dairy and Pepsi and owned and operated Dee’s Motel.

Later, as an employee at the Naughton Power Plant, he held various positions: lab supervisor, safety director and operations shift supervisor. He retired from the plant in 1990 and, with his wife, was called as an LDS missionary to the Singapore Mission, living in Bangalore, India, for 18 months. Following that, they served a mission to the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. In addition, they served as temple workers in the Ogden, Utah; and Afton temples.

Dee loved church work and faithfully served in many positions including ward bishop and counselor in the stake presidency.

When people would complain about the high cost of living in Kemmerer, he would say, “That’s the price you pay to live in paradise.”

As a young man, he loved to chase and catch wild horses with friends, and was passionate about elk hunting, bagging over 60 of them. He loved bowling, his horse Poco, and the Boy Scouts of America, in which he earned his Eagle rank and Silver Explorer Medal.

He loved his ever-growing family and is fondly remembered by his children and grandchildren for teaching them many valuable life lessons. He will be dearly missed by all.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Joan Burnett; a daughter, Julie (Eric) Backman of Diamondville; son, Darwin (Barbara) Burnett, of Craig, Colorado; and a son, James (Debbie) of Kemmerer. Dee had 14 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Dee is preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Steven Burnett.

Private family graveside services were held at noon on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the South Lincoln Cemetery, Kemmerer.