Thursday, October 21, 2010

Burl Rainwater, OGH, Brother, Friend

WE 'borrowed' this from the HQ site.
OGH recipient volunteered for over 30 years
October 19, 2010


Burl Rainwater TN AL '58

G. Burl Rainwater, Tennessee ’58, passed away Sunday night, after a 15-year battle with cancer.

Rainwater, 74, served as a volunteer for his chapter, Tennessee Alpha, for over 30 years, and was recognized with the Order of the Golden Heart at the 1989 Conclave in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tennessee’s Chapter Counselor Kelly Williams, Tennessee ’92, said that Rainwater was the board’s president for over 30 years before retiring just a few years ago. “He was intimately involved in every aspect of the Alumni Association,” Williams said.

After graduation, Rainwater spent time serving in the United States Navy. He then lived in Nashville and New York for a brief period, before settling back in Tennessee, and had been volunteering with the chapter ever since. In addition, Burl served SigEp as the National Alumni Chairman and a district governor for Tennessee and Kentucky.

He is survived by his wife Ilene, as well as brothers Carl and J. Earl Rainwater ’58, who is also an alumnus and lifelong volunteer of the SigEp chapter at the University of Tennessee; as well as several nieces and nephews.

“I think he’ll be remembered as the single person who drove the alumni of Tennessee Alpha to support the chapter and scholarship program, and get the new house built,” said former SigEp Educational Foundation President Chuck White, Western Michigan ‘62. “Burl was really the energy.”

Rainwater was instrumental in creating the chapter’s newsletter, the Spiel. He planned first-class alumni gatherings for Founder’s Day and would work the phones incessantly to make sure everyone was attending. He also initiated the chapter’s scholarship fund and housing corporation structure. “One man can make a difference if he really commits to it,” White said.

“I can’t think of a better example of our cardinal principle of diligence than Burl and his work with SigEp over the last 35 years,” said Williams. “He had so much energy, focus and commitment. He will be greatly missed.”

Rainwater will be buried on October 23 at Middle Creek United Methodist Church Cemetery in Pigeon Ford, Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Tennessee Alpha Housing Corp of SPE, c/o Kelly WIlliams, 1627 Lindenhall Dr., Alcoa, TN 37701.
I knew Burl from my first days as a SigEp, some 35 years ago. He was always focused on making SigEp, and especially TN Alpha, the best they could possibly be. He was a good friend and a great Brother. Rest well, Burl. You have earned it.