BATH — Wilmer James McBurnie, 92, died Oct. 27 at The Bodwell House in Brunswick, due to a prolonged illness.
McBurnie was born March 27, 1922, in Aroostook County, to Alden and Verna McBurnie. His family moved to Richmond, and he earned a diploma from Richmond High School. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During World War II, he served as a flight engineer in England, where his squadron was assigned to anti-submarine duty over the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay.
Following his discharge at the end of the war, he helped his brother, Keith, and sister-in-law, Marjorie, run the Tomheagan Camps at Moosehead Lake. McBurnie eventually settled in Woolwich, and was employed by Maine Central Railroad as chief operator of the Carlton Bridge for 35 years. During that time he also worked as a mason in the surrounding area.
Known for his smile and quick wit, McBurnie married Dorothy Getchell at Moosehead Lake in the early 1950s. The couple had two children, Debra and Bryon. During his spare time he enjoyed exploring the lake, and spent many hours boating on the Kennebec River with his good friend, Hayden Temple.
McBurnie was predeceased by his wife; his daughter, Debbie; brother, Keith; and sister, Kathryn.
He is survived by his son, Bryon, and wife, Alana, of Colorado; son-in-law, Dom Eramo, of West Bath; and grandchildren, Laura Eramo, of Boston, and husband, Phil Bond, Domonic Eramo, of West Bath, Chris McBurnie, of Austin, Texas, and Katie McBurnie, of Phoenix.
The family extends special thanks to Brenda Call, who helped care for McBurnie during his stay at The Moorings in Bath.
Visitation and a funeral were held Oct. 28 at David E. Desmond & Son Funeral Home, with burial Oct. 29 at the Maine Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.