Visitation at Main Service
Obituary of Robert Burge
Robert A. Burge (“Bob”), age 83, passed away June 19 at Randolph County Hospice with his loving wife and daughter by his side. He is survived by his wife of forty years, Diana Johnson Burge; daughter Holly Jones and husband Bob Falls of Asheville NC.; son Matt Jones of Wadesboro NC; granddaughter Gabriela Jones of Asheville NC; sister Brenda de Suze and husband Jacques of Potomac, MD; goddaughters Mary Helen Horne of Clayton NC and Marian Guill of Wilmington NC; and many cousins, nieces and nephews from the Burge, Cecil and Payne families. He was preceded in death by his mother Anita Burge Burton, father Preston Burge, and sister Bonnie Hammond.
Bob was born March 3, 1935 in Asheboro. He was an ever proud Blue Comet. He played football for Coach Lee Stone, was Asheboro High’s Student body president and received the CC Cranford Award at graduation. He served his country in the US Army as a medic in Alaska from 1954-56. Bob was a beneficiary of the GI bill and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959. At Carolina he was an English major, proud member of Sigma Chi fraternity, and well known as an excellent dancer.
After years as a traveling sales representative in Florida, he returned to the Tarheel state to be closer to family and explore a new professional life as a real estate broker.
At the same time, fortune would have it that a high school crush was also returning to Asheboro and a spark lit in high school was rekindled. After years of being close friends, love blossomed with Diana Johnson. The eligible bachelor of 40 years married the girl of his dreams.
With marriage simultaneously came parenthood. Bob enthusiastically embraced Holly and Matt as his children and was completely devoted to their well-being. From that point on, Bob filled the complete role of father by offering constant love and support through consistent presence, encouragement and affection for over four decades.
Bob was a life-long learner. He was innately curious about other people, cultures, histories. His inquisitiveness led him to extensive travel. He merged business with this passion when he purchased a local travel agency, Travel Associates, in the 80s. He and his bride were fortunate to see much of the world through this endeavor. Bob, a born storyteller, loved to share experiences from Egypt, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, and China. He climbed the Great Wall and peered into the pyramids.
In his final years, travel revolved around a mountain town in North Carolina – with the destination highlight being a special little girl, granddaughter Gabriela. Being a grandfather was his lifelong calling. He relished every moment in her presence exuding pride and joy with each milestone or accomplishment. He was the first to make her laugh with a Donald Duck voice, quick to spread out on the floor for a tea party and proud to accompany her around downtown Asheboro on her frequent visits.
Bob was a lover of life, a voracious reader, crackerjack gin player, avid walker, and dapper dresser. A devout Tarheel who relished the experience of traveling to New Orleans and seeing UNC win the 1993 NCAA Basketball Championship. He exuded great pride in his hometown of Asheboro, the Zoo, and was always thrilled with their recent developments. He also loved life’s simple pleasures like Rhonda’s egg salad, games of gin with Derrick, tanning in the sun and a glass of merlot. Above all else, Bob loved his family. His sister Brenda was a particular source of affection. Her gift of sending the perfect card and care packages always brought a lift to his day.
All who met Bob were recipients of his special gift of friendliness. He was ever smiling and easy to laugh. His perpetual good nature and optimism were uplifting to those he touched. The very old and the very young were particularly drawn to his warmth. Despite much physical suffering in his final years, his joie de vivre stayed strong and touched so many, including new neighbors at Mountain Top and health care professionals at Stay Well. Bob was also quick to express gratitude for any kindness and care he was shown.
Bob was a member of First United Methodist Church of Asheboro and a memorial service will be held there on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Lynda Ferguson and Dr. Don Haynes officiating. The family will receive friends following the memorial service in the church parlor.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 224 North Fayetteville Street, Asheboro, NC 27203 or Hospice of Randolph, P.O. Box 9, Asheboro, NC 27204-0009.
Pugh Funeral Home in Asheboro is serving the family.