Chaplain (Colonel) Lewis G. Burnett, 92 years old, passed away peacefully at his home on November 21, 2023 in San Angelo, Texas.
Lew was born on August 3, 1931 in McCamey, Texas, to James and Olive Ruth Burnett.
He was ordained as a minister in Iraan, Texas in 1952. Two years later, he graduated from Hardin-Simmons with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1962, he graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity. Following his time at Southwestern, he was endorsed as a chaplain in the United States Army. He attended New York Theological Seminary in 1971 where he received the degree of
Master of Sacred Theology. During this time, Lew faithfully served his country in both the Vietnam (1965-66) and Korean (1981-83) Wars. Over the years, he accrued numerous accolades and awards, including an 82nd Airborne Division award (where he also received a Master Parachutist badge for completing over 100 jumps), two Legion of Merit awards, an 11th U.S. Calvary award, and a U.S Army Garrison Yongsan & Area III Certificate of Appreciation.
At the young age of 16, Lew knew he was called into ministry. This would be the
beginning of a life-long commitment to serving the Lord and those around him. Lew met his first love, Pat, as a young teenager and later married her in 1950. Together, they had 3 daughters; Linda, Laura, and Beverly. He spent his early adult life devoted to raising his children, receiving his education, and serving in the Army as a chaplain. He retired in 1985 after serving 30 years in the Army. Upon retiring, he began his 14 years of work with the Home Mission Board where he became the director of military chaplaincy, and the elected chairperson of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces. In 1999, he married his second love, Diane Burnett. Lew spent his retired years committed to serving his family, friends, and his community. To honor his effort and devotion to his community, he was inducted into the Concho Valley Senior Hall of Fame, and awarded the Senior Corps Community Impact Governor’s Volunteer Award. Lew often spent his extra time watching his grandchildren’s sports and extracurricular activities, traveling with his wife, and playing domino or card games. He also enjoyed movie dates with his wife and having brunch at their favorite local spots.
Lew sincerely loved his family and was delighted at every opportunity to support and lend a helping hand. His care and faithfulness to the Lord and the ones he loved will leave an everlasting impression. Lew was a wonderful, God-fearing pastor, leader, husband, father, soldier, and friend whose warmth and joyfulness set him apart as one who was completely devoted to the care of others. His loving and fruitful spirit touched the hearts and lives of everyone he encountered. He was one who left behind an indelible mark on every person and place he touched.
And as Lew would say before anyone left his home, “I Love you! You be careful out there!”
Lew is preceded in death by his father, James Odis Burnett; mother, Olive Ruth Burnett; brothers, James Odis Jr. Burnett, Perry Burnett, and Johnny Burnett; sister, Elizabeth Jane Rohrer; sister-in-law, Pansy Bonsworth; daughters, Laura Burnett and Beverly Bowden; and late wife, Patsy Pauline Burnett of 48 years.
Lew is survived by his wife, Diane R. Burnett of 24 years; daughter, Linda (Carl)
Thomas; bonus children, Mike (Tina) Yono, Doug (Maria) Yono, and Janine McIntyre; son-in-law, Greg McIntyre; 12 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the VA, the many visiting angels Lew had over the years, Shannon Home Health, and their neighbor, Greg Costa, for their dedication in helping Lew in the final years of his life. They would also like to thank Southland Baptist Church, Pastor Chris Curran, and countless members of the church for praying over and pouring into Lew throughout his life as a member there.
The public viewing was held from 5-7pm on Wednesday, November 29th at Harper Funeral Home in San Angelo, Texas. The funeral service was held at 10:00am on Thursday, November 30th at Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo, Texas. The burial will be at 2:30pm on December 6th at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.
Family and friends may share condolences and sign the online register book at