John Guthrie “Jay” Burrell Jr., 54

John Guthrie “Jay” Burrell Jr., 54, died on May 14, 2017, in Starkville.

He was born on January 15, 1963, to John Guthrie “Bud” Burrell Sr. and Betty Ratliff Burrell in Ruleville.

In his younger years, Jay enjoyed playing football for North Sunflower Academy in Drew. He spent many hours working on his family farm in Ruleville and was also known for his love of and skill photography. Jay attended Mississippi State University and earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 1986 and 1989.

In 1984, Jay began working for Mississippi State University in the Agriculture Economics Department. He quickly discovered his love for computers and information technology. This eventually led him to Information Technology Services as the Manager for Systems Services and finally the Director of Information Technology Infrastructure. Jay was well known throughout campus as an expert in instructional and information technologies. Faculty and staff enjoyed his positive spirit, his jovial laughter, and his ability to solve any problem with his “McGyver” skills. One of Jay’s favorite sayings was “no one wants to know how the sausage is made, but that’s what we do.” Jay spent countless hours serving the faculty and staff at Mississippi State University.

Jay was an avid MSU Bulldog fan. He held season tickets for football and baseball for many years, never missing a game and never leaving a game early. Jay was looking forward to attending the Dudy Noble Field Celebration Series this weekend at MSU to commemorate the final game in the Left Field Lounge. The Bulldog Family will miss Jay at the sporting events where he was always cheering the team, ringing his cowbell, laughing, and telling stories about the good old days. 

Family was Jay’s priority. He loved spending time with his boys, Ben and Dawson. Jay devoted countless hours to the Starkville High School Baseball Team with Ben and refined his shooting skills at the range with Dawson. He ate lunch with his mother frequently and spent many weekends with his brother, Gary, and their famous barbeque cooking team, Bubba-Q Bros.

Jay was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville and the Prime-Timers Sunday school class. Jay was a 1st Lt. in the Civil Air Patrol (US Air Force Auxillary) Golden Triangle Composite Squadron. A member since 2002, he held several core squadron roles including Administration Officer, Personnel Officer, and Professional Development Officer. He also participated in numerous search and rescue missions, serving both as flight crew member and on the mission staff. Additionally, Jay was an instrumental member of CAP's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Recently, Jay had taken up bicycling, lacked one class from completing his SCUBA diving certification, and traveled extensively with his boys and friends

He was preceded in death by his father, John Guthrie “Bud” Burrell Sr. and his maternal and paternal grandparents.

Jay is survived by his sons Benjamin John Burrell and Dawson Scott Burrell and their mother Tamar Miller Burrell; mother Betty Ratliff Burrell; brother Gary Burrell (Barbara); nephews Brian Burrell, Alan Burrell and Jeremy Burrell (Sarah); great-nephew Jax Burrell; and great-niece Harper Burrell.

Visitation for Jay is scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2017, 5-7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church and Friday, May 19, 2017, from 10-11 a.m.

The funeral service will be held Friday, May 19, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville. Dr. Grant Arinder and Rev. Scott Cappleman will conduct the service. Burial will be in Memorial Gardens in Starkville.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville or the Starkville High School Baseball Booster Club, attn: Jay Burrell Fund. P.O. box 2160 Starkville, MS 39759

Pallbearers are Olen Booth, Brian Burrell, Jeremy Burrell, Alan Burrell, Scott Comish, Aaron Conner, Tim Griffin, Jerry Don Taylor.

Honorary Pallbearers are the members of the Prime-Timers Sunday school class at Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville.

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