Gary Burnett

Burnett, GaryGary Burnett, known for his great sense of humor and smiling eyes, passed away on the evening of April 14, 2013 in Milton, Massachusetts. Despite an iron will to live his best life, Gary unexpectedly lost his long but courageous battle with Lupus, resulting in kidney and heart failure. He was 46.

Born to Lena B. Freeman and Edward Burnett on November 23, 1966, Gary was a true Bostonian.  Besides being born and raised there, he was an avid fan of the city’s local teams. He had a hard knock upbringing in the rough and tumble neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, and Roxbury. His closest childhood friends were members of his extended family; he was especially close to Joel and Tony Hall. They were a rambunctious trio, singing, cracking jokes and telling tall tales about their mischievous escapades.

Eager to make his own way in the world, Gary relocated to New Bedford, Massachusetts soon after graduation. There, Gary joined Joel in his cleaning company, negotiating and drafting work contracts for the Hall family business, J. T.’s Cleaning Company. Prior to this, he also worked for Massport at Boston Logan Airport.

Being a jack-of-all-trades, Gary eventually earned the much sought-after position of a machinist at the Johnson & Johnson Company of Lakeville, Massachusetts. He was proud of this accomplishment and devoted many years to being a hard-working employee until he was forced to resign due to injury and failing health.

Gary yearned to have a child of his own and when his son was finally born on August 20, 2005, he fittingly named him Justice.  His child was the sun and moon in his father’s eyes. He adoringly referred to him as “my boy” and he would often tap the brim of his son’s baseball hat, as he would exclaim it. Gary’s greatest mission in life was to be an excellent father to his son.  He wanted Justice to experience all that the world had to offer. On weekends, he enjoyed preparing him elaborate meals – lobster and steak with all the fixin’s.  Gary loved to cook, and was often inspired by his childhood memories of wonderful meals prepared by his nana and mother. He thought of himself as an accomplished chef. Although his recipes were often experimental in nature, Justice was his food critic; Gary made a great baked macaroni and cheese. Gary and Justice shared a love for the show “Everybody Loves Raymond” and would often hurry through dinner so they could catch reruns.

Wherever Gary went you could count on Justice following closely in tow. The bond between father and son was a strong one. Gary wanted Justice to have the best childhood that he could provide, this motivated Gary to not let his health challenges get in the way. Anxious to obtain every toy on his child’s wish list, Gary spent “Black Fridays” braving harsh weather and camping out in front of toy stores to ensure Justice had a merry Christmas. He often took Justice – and a whole gaggle of nephews – to petting zoos, museums, movies, children’s shows, and amusements parks. He was planning his second trip to Disney with his son.

Despite him only having a high school education, Gary stressed the importance of academic excellence to his son.  He attended all school meetings and events, helped Justice with his homework, and often read to his son. He expected that his son would not only graduate high school, but also attend university. He believed with his entire being that Justice was destined for greatness. The child’s aunts and uncles have pledged to bring Gary’s premonition into fruition.

Gary will be remembered as a man who loved life and lived for the moment. When Gary laughed, he laughed with his whole spirit. He used his energy to make people smile and he was always there for anyone that needed help.

His presence will be sorely missed.

His son, Justice Deon Burnett and his significant other, Nicole Marble, survive Gary. He is also survived by his siblings: Edward Burnett, Jr.; Carol Burnett; Till Freeman IV; Carnell Freeman; and Candice Freeman; his sister in law Luisa Freeman and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A Funeral Service will be held at Dolan Funeral Home, at 10:00 Am on April 25, 2013. Visitation will be held on April 24, 2013, at Dolan’s Funeral home at 1140 Washington Street, Lower Mills, Massachusetts at 6-8pm. The family will be greeting friends and relatives at the memorial service. Private Burial at Forest Hills Cemetery (46 Garden of Meditation). The Repast, held immediately after the funeral service will be held at Carver Den, 80 Talbot Ave, Dorchester, MA  02125.

At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Donations for Justice Burnett Fund, c/o Citizens Bank, 1200 Hancock St., Quincy 02169.