Mr. Sylvanus Leonidas Burney IV — 1942-2020

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Sylvanus Leonidas Burney, IV (S.L.), 77, of Douglasville, Georgia, died peacefully Jan. 13, 2020, after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in West Point, on Nov. 17, 1942, to S.L. Burney III and Erma Pinckard Burney. He lived an idyllic childhood growing up on his family’s farm in what is now Valley. S.L. graduated from Valley High School in 1960 and Auburn University in 1964. He received a degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps Reserve. He married Sandra Shelton after graduation and they began a long and happy life together. S.L. served proudly with both the First and Third Marine Divisions. He attained the rank of Captain. He was a Vietnam veteran. Following three years of active duty, S.L. worked mostly in the paper industry. He retired from both Union Camp and Georgia Pacific Corporations. He managed the Utility Audit Program at Georgia Pacific and counts his paper industry associates from Georgia and Alabama, to Maine, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and the Pacific Northwest as esteemed and respected colleagues and friends. S.L. served on the Douglas County, Georgia Board of Elections. He was a member of Douglasville’s Dirty Dozen war veterans. A fierce protector of children, he was a founding board member and tireless volunteer for Starting Over, the Supervised Visitation ministry of St. Julian’s Episcopal Church. He was active in the Episcopal and Anglican communities of Douglasville. S.L. was an avid reader and especially enjoyed military history. A recent hobby was finding bargains at estate sales and restoring machinery and tools. He could fix almost anything. He loved old tractors, the Atlanta Braves, and Auburn football.

Surviving family members are Sandra, his wife of 55 years, grandsons and adopted sons Drew and his wife Chelsea, Slaten and his wife Sarah, and Jake, his precious great-granddaughter Adeline Harper Burney. He is also survived by a son Stephen Burney and daughter Caroline Burney, a sister Patricia Burney and his close friend and fellow estate sale aficionado, Alan Hodges.

Email newsletter signup

The family will receive friends beginning at 1  p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Whitley Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home in Douglasville. Funeral services will be held immediately following at 3 p.m. conducted by the Rev. Brandon Duke and the Rev. Jim Cheetham. Burial is at Georgia National Cemetery on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, at 11:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to Starting Over, c/o St Julian’s Episcopal Church, 5400 Stewart Mill Rd, Douglasville, GA 30135, or to a favorite charity. The family is grateful to Homestead Hospice of Newnan, GA, for its care of S.L. and his family.

To leave condolences with the family or share memories of Sylvanus Leonidas Burney IV, visit

Services have been entrusted to the care of Whitley-Garner at Rosehaven Funeral Home, 8640 Rose Avenue, Douglasville, Georgia 30134