Stories of a Storyteller

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Oh the stories we have to tell! Oh we know them oh so well!
May I introduce you to Dad, the storyteller?

Charles Andrews Burfoot, Sr.
April 16, 1925 – November 6, 2016


Now about that dash…

Charles Andrews Burfoot was born April 16, 1925 in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in Crozet, Virginia. His parents were AW and Luna Fulford Burfoot. His dad was a devout man who instilled the love of the Lord in his sons.

Both Charley’s parents, his brother, Ambrose, his daughter, Bette, and his grandson, Kyle predeceased him.

Hunting, fishing, trapping and exploring the land are the stories of his youth. He was a storyteller at heart and was infinitely curious about everything. Every stranger was a friend he simply hadn’t met yet.

Dad was a storyteller at heart and was infinitely curious about everything. Every stranger was a friend he simply hadn’t met yet. Come meet him!

Charley attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, now Virginia Tech. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets, pitched baseball and boxed there. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, was an Electrical Engineer and a licensed Professional Engineer; E.E., P.E. Electricity intrigued him.

Charley attended his 60th college reunion one month after the Virginia Tech massacre and was so proud of the way the school handled that horrid situation. At 91 years old, he attended the graduation of his granddaughter Emma Aycock from Virginia Tech. He was a Hokie thru and thru and loved cheering the football team on from the sidelines in his comfy chair!

Dad was a storyteller at heart and was infinitely curious about everything. Every stranger was a friend he simply hadn’t met yet. Come meet him!

Charley’s college roommate, Sam Wilson, took him home for a weekend, where Charley met Sam’s sister, Boots – Elizabeth Ligon Wilson. They married 63 years ago on October 17, 1953. Charley moved his bride to Texas, where their children were born. He was a consulting engineer for many years prior to moving to Homer, LA as the Systems Engineer for Claiborne Electric Co-op.

Their children are Charles “Chuck” Andrews Burfoot, Jr, Susan “Sudi” Burfoot Mead, Elizabeth “Bette” Burfoot Keeling and Margaret Burfoot Aycock.

Chuck married Amanda Best, so according to Charley, she’s the Best Burfoot! Their daughter is Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Burfoot. Susan married Holt Mead and their sons are Matthew “Matt” Alexander Mead and Kyle Wilson Mead. Bette married Robert Keeling and their children are Kathryn Ashby Keeling and Robert “Bobby” Walton Keeling, Jr. Margaret married David Aycock and their children are Emma Rose Aycock and Kenneth Nolen Aycock.

Once his youngest daughter, Margaret, graduated from high school, off he went to Dhaka Bangladesh to help the Bengali government electrify the country. Oh the stories this storyteller had to share from there!

Snake charmers with cobras, elephants helping the men erect poles for the power lines, brick making in ancient ways, the “next door” neighbors who lived in a lean-to against the wall of the compound, playing tennis with the men of the Ambassadors Club, going to Seoul, Korea for a short assignment, landing in Dubai when it was just sand and not the oasis it is today – and the temperature in the plane increased as they landed it was so hot.

Charley and Boots were in Dhaka during a coup in the early 1980s. There was NO communication from outside the country at that time, so the family did not know whether they were safe or not. Oh, the relief when phone communication was restored! Boots was blasé about it. “Oh, we just stayed out of the way. We’re ok.” Thank God!

In the 1980s to make a phone call into Bangladesh, you would dial “0” to schedule an appointment with the operator. Why? So they could “line up” the satellites to bounce signals around the world to Bangladesh so a call COULD go through. Can you even imagine that today?

Charley and Boots returned to the US the day Susan found out she was expecting their first grandchild. They moved to Rusk, TX where Charley was the Engineer for Cherokee County Co-op. Upon retirement, he became a Master Electrician. He simply had to stay busy! And that he was until the last few days of his 91.5 years.

Charley and Boots moved back to Homer, LA and were thrilled to be back in the country, exploring the land, loving nature and spending time with family. Charley even helped Margaret dig her garden this spring. Oh, how he loved working the land, hands deep in the dirt.

Dad was a storyteller at heart and was infinitely curious about everything. Every stranger was a friend he simply hadn’t met yet. Come meet him!

Death came on November 6, 2016 as Love escorted him Home to Heaven. We celebrate!

Stories of a Storyteller: The Legacy of Charley Burfoot will be the memorial book created from your stories. So a heartfelt thank you for taking a moment now to share on Susan’s website.

My dad was a storyteller and every stranger was simply a friend he hadn't met yet. Come meet Charley!

What a fun way to celebrate his 91.5 years!

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43 thoughts on “Stories of a Storyteller

  1. What a beautiful legacy Charley left and he lives on in his family. Thank you for sharing about the Story Teller with us here at Tell me a Story.

  2. I’m sorry to hear of your loss. My dad has been gone for just a year and I miss his stories too. This, the post and the sharing of his stories, is a beautiful tribute! God bless.

  3. I too pray comfort you. I lost my dad in 1999. It was a hard time and the holidays are bittersweet. We miss them but are so glad they are in heaven with other family members who also moved on to that realm. I know my dad is now meeting your dad and sharing stories too. Thanks for the linkup as well.

  4. I interviewed my dad before he passed and wrote his stories in a notebook for my family to read. But to write a book about your dad is incredible, Susan! Now the whole world will know about his inspiring life. And I’m praying for you and your family in this hard time of loss. I’m sure that writing this book has brought you great comfort in his passing.

    Btw, I have to say, I think he looks a bit like Brad Pitt on that cover photo! Quite the good looking man! Thanks for the linkup, my friend!

    1. Awwww, to interview your dad before he passed to share HIS stories is POWERFUL!

      He was very handsome for sure with piercing ice water blue eyes. And I got his eyes – thank You God!

      Thank you for taking time to comment and for linking up. Hugs, Susan

    1. Oh, Elizabeth, yes he was a treasure and I’m so glad he was my dad. The last night I told him good night Daddy, sleep tight, he replied, nite nite Sugarlumps. Sleep tight.

      What a treasure – forever his Sugarlumps.

      Hugs, Susan

  5. I feel so blessed to have come by to read this about your father, Susan. How very blessed you have been to be his daughter…one of them. I am sorry for your loss, though. I know it is there even as you celebrate his Home-going and his life. From this post, he was quite a man, father, and adventuresome person. WOW! I, too, wish I had met him just anywhere so that I could have been one of those easily-made friends of his. You make me smile with the many reminiscences.
    May God hold you near and dear in these days.

    1. Linda, thank you for saying he made you smile just reading about him! What a treasure that is to me. And God is holding me so close and dear – because of your special prayers for me. Thank you.

      Hugs, Susan

  6. What a wonderful dad and legacy! Bless you as you remember and love and grieve a little in the meantime. As you know, it’s a meantime for those of us in Jesus. Thank You, Lord.

    1. Hugs, Sue. Thank you for the reminder to remember, love AND grieve as it’s simply the meantime not the forever until we meet again. Hugs from my heart to yours. Susan

    1. Michele, thank you. Well loved and lived indeed! And I got his “baby blues” to treasure. Mom even mentioned a couple of times a dinner that when I look up, I do it “just like Charley did” – I am his daughter for sure! Hugs, my sweet friend. Susan

    1. Oh, Paris Renea, I thank God for the time to spend with Dad. Now Mom will be 93 next month and I’m right around the corner from her too. Isn’t that a blessing? I’ll miss the EC weekend as I’m staying close enough to Mom to drive back if needed as she too enters her “old age’ – which she is just confessing to!

  7. What a beautiful, joyful tribute to a man you loved well, your dad! Blessings to you and may God comfort you in your loss.

  8. Thank you for sharing your Dad’s story. What a full and rich life. It sounds as though God blessed him with an amazing heart for others. Many blessings to you, Susan!

    1. Deb, thank you for your prayers of blessing for me – God is holding me so close right now, which is a result of your beautiful blessings. Hugs, Susan

    1. Amen and amen, Christa. I got Dad’s “baby blues” and Mom is seeing Dad in me when I look up at her at the dinner table. It makes her laugh with delight to see him in me! Hugs, Susan

  9. What a wonderful father you had! I can only imagine how a man like him would be #DancingWithJesus today. Praying for you as you grieve a loving dad.

    1. Dancing with Jesus indeed Sherry! Why are my eyes “leaking” right now? JOY! I can see them dancing – and Kyle and Bette there too! Hugs, Susan

  10. I love this, Susan! Thanks for this peek into you Dad’s life! Praying God’s peace and comfort to surround you. XO

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