James Francis Burda, age 67, of Richfield Springs, passed away on Wednesday evening, July 9, 2014, in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown. He had the comfort of his loving family at his side.
He was born on September 2, 1946, in Amsterdam, son of the late Frank E. and Mary Neil Burda. Jim was raised in Johnstown and graduated from Johnstown High School with the class of 1964. He furthered his education at Sienna College, graduating with the class of 1969. While at Sienna College he was enrolled in their Reserve Officer Training Course. He entered the U.S. Army in 1970 where he served at Fort Devins, MA, and was honorably discharged in 1972, attaining the rank of lieutenant first class. On August 28, 1971, he was united in holy matrimony with the former Eileen Abele in Saint James Lutheran Church, Gloversville. After his Army discharge he was employed in various national sales management positions with the General Electric Company in the lighting division. In 2003 he took an early retirement from General Electric only to go back to work for the Halex Corporation in Cleveland, OH, later that year, where he was the national manager for electrical distribution. He fully retired in 2010. Mr. Burda had a strong faith in God and was a member of Saint Joseph the Worker R.C. Church in Richfield Springs. He was also a member of Richfield Springs American Legion Post 616, the Illumination Engineering Society, and served on the Canadarago Lake Improvement Association Board of Directors. In his leisure time he enjoyed sailing, hunting and reading. To all who knew him he was a kind, intelligent and friendly man who was happiest when he was surrounded by his many friends and family. He will be greatly missed by many.
He is survived by his devoted wife of forty-two years, Eileen; and two sons, Eric J. Burda of Lihue, HI, Kevin S. Burda and his wife Rachel of Orlando, FL; three sisters, Margaret D'Arpino of Punta Gorda, FL, Anne Niles and her husband, Jeffery, of Johnstown, Mary Elizabeth Klapkowski of Highland Falls; a brother-in-law, Robert W. Abele of Ocean City, MD; one sister-in-law, Janet Underwood and her husband, Thomas, of St. Michaels, MD; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Calling hours for Mr. Burda will be on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, 40 West James Street, Richfield Springs. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11 a.m. in Saint Joseph the Worker R.C. Church, Richfield Springs, with the Reverend Bernard Osei Ampong officiating. Military honors will follow after the funeral mass at the church. Interment will be in a family plot in St. Anthony's Cemetery in Johnstown, Saturday at 2 p.m. For those who wish, expressions of sympathy may be made with memorial donations to The Respiratory Health Association or the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.