James Burnham

On Monday, August 31st, 2020, James E. Burnham, loving husband and proud father of four children, passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 86. Jim was born on April 21st, 1934 in Los Angeles, CA to Lester and Lorena Burnham who preceded him in death.

Family was central to Jim’s life, and he will be deeply missed by his children, James K. Burnham, Brian Burnham, William Burnham, and Janet Holcomb whom he shared with former spouse, Lorene. He is survived by his partner and wife of 35 years, Sheila, his sisters Carol Callahan, Sister Corita and Sister Ritamary, and his 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grand children. Papa Jim will also be missed by his extended family Kathryn Marrotte, Carolyn Kell, Patty Aichele and 5 more grand children!

Jim attended Mount Carmel High School in Los Angeles, CA where he graduated in 1953, and fondly kept in touch with many fellow graduates throughout the years. He attended Los Angeles City College shortly thereafter. From 1952-1960, Jim was in the United States Naval Reserve and served 2 years of active duty in the post-war occupation of Korea from 1955-1957. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Navy never left him, as friends and family will attest.

Jim was an eye care professional, practicing as an optician in Torrance, CA, for over 40 years. His favorite pastimes were sailing the California coast, and traveling throughout the US in his RV with his wife and dog. He was an avid Dodger fan and was proud to attend a World Series game. Jim will be remembered for his crystal blue eyes, his strong-willed spirit, and his insightful connection with people. Family and friends loved to gather for happy hour and partake in Jim’s famous, K.O. martinis, laughs and hugs.

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