Norbert Burleson

October 21, 1948 - April 15, 2022
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John W. Allen
The Burlesons, Reno
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Obituary

Norbert Burleson, 73, of New Philadelphia passed away in his home, Friday, April 15, 2022, after a 7-year heroic battle with cancer.

Born October 21,1948 in Canton, Ohio to David “Henry “Burleson and Kathleen Bryant Burleson, he volunteered for the Army in April 1966. His first tour in Vietnam 1967-68 with the F…

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Norbert Burleson, 73, of New Philadelphia passed away in his home, Friday, April 15, 2022, after a 7-year heroic battle with cancer.

Born October 21,1948 in Canton, Ohio to David “Henry “Burleson and Kathleen Bryant Burleson, he volunteered for the Army in April 1966. His first tour in Vietnam 1967-68 with the First Cav brought horrendous fighting in many battles, especially Tet, where his battalion went in with almost four hundred and returned with seventy-eight. He survived. Two weeks later, he went back for his comrades buried in a mortar pit-the smell of death distinct from miles away. During his time, he was a mortar man, point man, and tunnel rat- although injured on two separate occasions-he survived. He always had “your six.” On his return, he was stationed at Fort Sills, Oklahoma and was honor guard for burials of the fallen. Sent to Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention, the soldiers were told protesters were the enemy which he knew was absurd as he had left the enemy in Vietnam. In April 1970, he voluntarily returned to Vietnam, soon to be flying into Cambodia in a cloud of helicopters with Echo Recon, which sparked Kent State protests. Another year of battles, death, and destruction- yet he survived. Despite being awarded two Purple Hearts, several Bronze Stars, Army Commendation with V-device, CIB, Air Medal, and many other awards, it did not soothe the survivor’s guilt he felt. Discharged in 1972, PTSD plagued him with self-destructive behavior as with so many other combat veterans. Excessive alcoholism, dangerous drug abuse, yet he survived. He met Marie “Terri” Meszaros and they celebrated their 47-year anniversary April 4. Together for almost 50 years, they endured the “better and worse” of love. Norbert was always the first to help others and the last to ask for help. He loved being outdoors-hiking and campfires. He loved all kinds of music, especially live, and enjoyed dancing with his children and grandchildren, that he loved dearly. The sound of a Huey or Chinook always had him looking up in anticipation as they had been the lifelines in the war. He worked at Knight’s Restaurant, Republic Steel for 20 years until they downsized and then he worked mowing dams and levees. When he began to come to terms with the haunting of Vietnam, the dormant Agent Orange. sprayed to kill the dense jungles. attacked him. Lymphoma and bone cancer-he fought with surgery, and chemotherapy-he survived. Lung cancer-he fought with radiation-he survived. Metastasis to brain cancer-he fought with surgery and gamma knife radiation-he survived. Lung and brain cancer returned after a year, and he fought valiantly with radiation, but the war had followed him home to kill him. He joined the casualties of the Vietnam war plaguing soldiers and veterans for decades.

Norbert was preceded in death by his parents, 3 brothers- Norris, Noren, and Norwin “Jeff” Burleson, 2 sisters Irma Brasill and Kathy Burleson. He is survived by his wife Terri, brothers Norman Burleson, Spartanburg SC, Norval (Nancy) Burleson, Canton, Norlan Burleson, Canton. Sons David (Ann) Burleson, North Canton, Stephen (Jessica) Burleson, Canton, Ian (Tanya) Burleson New Philadelphia, and Clair (Harold Merckle) Burleson, Bolivar. Grandsons Sean, Jordan, Brandon, Seth, and Jaiden. Great grandsons Alio, Dallas, and Emmitt. He had many nephews and nieces he loved and who loved him.

There will be no calling hours or funeral. A family memorial will be at a future date.

In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations in his name to a reputable Veterans organization. Appreciation is given to the Tuscarawas County Veterans Services, Tuscarawas County Hospice, the New Philadelphia, and Wade Park VA employees.

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A family memorial will be held at a future date.


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Timeline for Norbert Burleson

Born: October 21, 1948
Died: April 15, 2022

Condolences for Norbert Burleson

Geib Funeral Home & Crematory

On behalf of the Geib Family and Staff, we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss. We are honored to have been called upon to serve your family.

 

Ashlie and John Beisel posted on 5/3/22

I didn’t know Norbert but my mom and dad did. My dad served with him in the Vietnam War and was very good friends with him. I just wanted to express my condolences to the family. In reading his obituary he was an incredible man and one of which I’m truly grateful for his courage and dedication to our country. I can see how he and my father were such good friends, very similar in many ways. My dad would also like to express his his sincere condolences to the family

 

Ed “Hutch” Hutchins posted on 4/26/22

My heart breaks to learn that our mighty, valiant comrade has passed on. I was lucky to have served with Norbert in Echo Recon. It is a honor to have known and shared with this giant of a man during a difficult situation. He will always survive in my affection. Hutch

 

Mary R Parson posted on 4/21/22

Rest In Peace sir. Thank you for keeping me and my family safe.

 

Heather J Taylor posted on 4/19/22

Marie, I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother was your neighbor for years(barb black), she would tell me all about you guys and ian. I want to thank you for being a friend to my mother. She always said that you both were wonderful neighbors and looked out for her. She was there to welcome him I'm sure. Tale care of yourself and thank you so much.

 

Malone University posted on 4/19/22

Tanya, lifting you up as you celebrate Norbert's life and legacy

 

John Hartzell posted on 4/18/22

Prayers Dave for you and your family so sorry for your loss.

 

Julie Brasill posted on 4/18/22

Uncle Norbert was one of a kind! His smile and laugh was infectious. I’m blessed that he was a part of our family. Thoughts, prayers and hugs to Aunt Terri and the entire Burleson family. Love Julie

 

Larry Suter posted on 4/18/22

I did not know Norbert I read his obituary and just wanted to tell him and his family thank you.

 

Barb Timpe posted on 4/18/22

To the Burelson family, I want to offer my deep condolences to all of you for your loss. My heart goes out to all, Agent Orange took the lives of many, my husband was diagnosed with CLL in 2003 and fought his battle till 2014 when it spread to his lungs. I also want to say thank you for his service.

 

John W. Allen posted on 4/18/22

I saw in the Repository about the passing of Norbert Burleson. He is a real testimony of a man who served his Country in Vietnam during some very difficult times. Whoever wrote his story, it was excellent. My Brother served in Vietnam, and I served in the Military for twenty six years, my sister served in the military as well. I remember the Burleson Family, I played with Norney. My name is John Allen, and my brothers Dave and Steve, my sisters Pat and Barb all lived not to far on Beverly Ave. the Burns, the Caps, Smuckers, were some other families that I remembered. I had great memories of our old neighborhood. I would like to express my depeest Christian sympathies to the entire Burleson Family. To honor Norbert I will make a donation to the USO in his honor. God Bless all of you as we celebrate his life and service to our country.

 

Debbie Beazel/ Bollinger posted on 4/18/22

To Terri and family.So sorry for your loss.Nay you find comfort in family and friends.

 

Bill Weisgarber posted on 4/18/22

My condolences to the Burleson family and thanks to Norbert for his service to our country. As brave and courageous as he sounded, I thank the family for the raw and openness of sharing his life's story. Though I did not know him I think I received some of the benefit of Norbert's love of the outdoors through his brother Jeff that befriended me in high school. Many a night Jeff took me with him to the river to just sit and fish and sit under the stars. "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jerimiah 29: 11

 

Susan Murphy posted on 4/17/22

Thank you for keeping us safe on the Home Front. Acquaintance of Norman Burleson Faith Free Presbyterian Church Greenville, SC

 

Mike Beghin posted on 4/17/22

May God bless Norberts family in their time of grief. I knew Norbert from Republic Steel. He is a great man. He took me home once, about 20 miles from Republic and the opposite direction from his home. Didn't bother him at all he was happy to do it. Easter Sunday just reminds me that we will rise again. Home to you my friend on the other side in glory.

 

The Burlesons, Reno posted on 4/17/22

Our sympathies to you and your family on the passing of your brother.

 

Gerry Tinor posted on 4/17/22

After reading his obituary, it is evident that Mr. Burleson had to fight many battles during his lifetime. What a strong man he must have been. It would have been an honor to have known him. My sincere condolences to his family and his friends. Mr. Burleson, you did your duty well, sir. Rest In Peace!! Gerry Tinor

 

Cheryl J Skinner Tri-State Military Museum posted on 4/17/22

May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time, May you come to know that the love of God is with you always, May your memories of Norbert Burleson, give you peace, comfort and strength… Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete. I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers to the family of …. US Army Veteran, Norbert Burleson, is “A True American Hero” God Bless† † Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †

 

Jesse Newburn posted on 4/16/22

Although I did not know Norbert I can appreciate what he went through since I am a Vietnam veteran as well. My sincere condolences to his family. I thank you for your sacrifice. May you Rest In Peace

 

David Carpenter posted on 4/16/22

Terri and Family, I am so saddened to learn of Norbert's passing. Cousin Norbert and I were born the same year. It was always abundantly clear that Grandma Burleson had a special place in her heart for Norbert, as she loved him dearly. He was always a true hero in the eyes of my brother Cliff, me, and I'm sure many, many others. I'm so very sorry for your loss. David Carpenter Atlanta, GA

 

Cindy Kelly posted on 4/16/22

Although I do not know Norbert personally I read his life story and would like to thank him and his family for his dedication and service to our country. My brother is a Vietnam survivor. Rest in peace your Tour of Duty is complete.

 

Mimi Bogard posted on 4/16/22

I remember Norbert from Middlebranch Junior High days, where our paths briefly crossed. Sadly, he bravely bore the heaviest burdens of our generation, for which I offer deepest respect. My heartfelt condolences go to his beloved wife and family, who provided the much deserved joys of his life.

 

Bonnie posted on 4/16/22

Norbert always had a kind word an smile, I was blessed to have known him. Thank you for your service Sir.

 

Karen DeMattio posted on 4/16/22

I am so sorry for your loss. I would like to thank him for his service. What a brave young man he was and as he got older to fight Agent Orange.

 

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