Captain (Ret) Ravnel V. Burgamy, a much-decorated World War II combat infantry officer with General Patton's 3rd Army in France and Germany, died on Thursday, March 28, 2013, after complications resulting from a fall. He was 92. R.V. and his sweetheart Ethel were married for over 66 years.
"R. V.," as he was affectionately known by friends, was also called his childhood nickname, "Boots", by family members. His many baseball teammates knew him as "Red", a reference to the fiery color of his thick, wavy locks. His brother Cal, coined the nickname "Har Vee" on the golf course one day as a derivation of "R. V." By whatever name he was called, R. V. was loved and revered by all.
Captain Burgamy was born and raised in Macon, Georgia where he and his brothers, Raymond, Calvin and Ralph were legendary for their sport's prowess and accomplishments. Burgamy was an All-State baseball player for the Lanier High Poets and received scholarships to play in college. He was unable to take the offers when his National Guard unit was called to active duty before World War II. Notwithstanding, upon his return from the war, he was recruited to play minor league professional ball, which he did with several teams, before deciding on a career with the military. He continued to play competitive ball into his 80s and was inducted into the Georgia Softball Hall of Fame in 1997. His team won the National Seniors Softball Championship in 1987 at the Las Vegas tournament. Another of his teams took second place in the 1993 Seniors Softball World Series in Houston, Texas.
Captain Burgamy Served as a 1st Lt. Platoon leader with the 376th Infantry Regiment, 94th Infantry Division of General Patton's 3rd Army during World War II. He deployed from Southhampton, England to Omaha Beach, Brittany, France on D-Day + 85. His unit fought through St. Lo, Avranches, Rennes, Chateaubriant, Nozay and Blain to a German-held pocket at St. Nazaire. Their mission was to "...contain and screen the enemy in and about St. Nazaire." Burgamy's unit was then deployed to the French/German border as reinforcements during the Battle of the Bulge in January, 1945. The 376th was assigned to take Nennig, Germany and after fierce fighting and resistance, took Nennig. His unit successfully defended a counterattack before Nennig was retaken by the Germans. The 94th later broke through the Switch Line to captuire Sinz, Germany where they held off several counterattacks.
For his bravery and meritorious service during combat, Burgamy was awarded the Bronze Star with the "V" device for valor. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received during the action at Nennig. He was honored with the Army Commendation Medal.
R.V. was a longstanding "Deacon Emeritus" at Southside Baptist Church in South Columbus and for many years spent weekends ministering to inmates in Columbus City Jail. After moving from South Columbus, R.V. and Ethel became members of Fairview Baptist Church and lastly at Northside Baptist Church.
R.V. is survived by his wife Ethel, three sons, Marshall, Calvin and Wayne, two grandchildren, Cory and Ben, a great-grandson Andres and his sister Betty Dilda who lives in Arizona.
Funeral services will be held 3:00 PM Saturday, March 30, 2013 in the Chapel of Striffler-Hamby Mortuary 4071 Macon Rd, Columbus, GA with Reverend Jerry Speer and Reverend Mike Yarbrough officiating. Internment to follow in Parkhill Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until time of the service.