A covered-dish memorial service for longtime Seymour resident Burless Leo Dye will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. this Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at the Seymour South park pavilion.
Graveside services for immediate family members are set for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, at the Springfield Veterans Cemetery.
Burless Leo Dye of Seymour passed away on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, at the age of 99 years, six months and nine days.
He was born the second child of Odessa Stewart Dye and Randolph “Dolphie” Dye of Chestnut Ridge on Feb. 21, 1921.
With his longevity, Mr. Dye had an interesting and fulfilling life. He worked hard, even as a child, during those Great Depression era days to help support his family.
Before World War II, he worked in construction until drafted in early 1942.
He was assigned to the 8th Army Air Corps after training.
A Heavy Bomber Group was formed, and he received orders for an air base in England. The small statured Staff Sgt. Dye assumed his duty as a machine gunner inside the very exposed-to-the-enemy, bottom-ball turret on a B-17 Flying Fortress. Burless defied the odds and heroically completed 24 missions over Nazi-occupied Germany and France, despite his plane being shot down on missions No. 1 and No. 24. He and his fellow crew members were not killed, evaded capture and were eventually returned to England.
Ultimately, Burless completed his 25th mission with the Commemorative Air Force at the age of 95.
Burless had great eye-hand coordination. After retuning home, he quickly proved himself a skilled heavy-equipment operator. This would be his profession for the next 50+ years.
Along the way, he met a beautiful lady telephone operator on a blind date set up by a war buddy.
He and Nellie Louise Haskett of Hollister were married on June 29, 1947.
Just prior to his passing, the couple celebrated an almost unprecedented 73 years of marriage.
After they were married, he and Nellie worked toward having a farm lifestyle. They first had a small place but later settled on a larger farm. With their, by then, two young boys, the family settled in rural Seymour in 1967.
Nellie still resides on that very farm today.
Mr. Dye typically worked in the southwest Missouri area wherever his employer had a job going. He was part of the construction of many landmark buildings and projects in the area, including the Galloway Lime Quarry, many of the now Missouri State University buildings, countless St. John’s/Mercy additions, Cox South, many downtown Springfield projects, Interstate 44 and Stockton Lake excavation.
His precision work on the backhoe, boom cranes, loaders and dozers, as well as other motorized equipment, caused him to be the go-to guy in many special or dangerous situations.
His co-workers often said they always felt safe around Burless.
Each day he would return home, sometimes very late, and begin taking care of the cattle and making improvements on the 160-acre farm. The boys shouldered some of the chores as they grew older while Nellie kept up their happy home.
Together they grew beef cattle, worked in the timber and put up many hundreds of bales of hay each summer. No running to town for parts either. Mr. Dye could fix almost anything.
He believed in helping a neighbor, too. He did so by lending both machinery and muscle to a friend or neighbor at any time or season. Burless could be found alongside neighbors and friends during their times of sorrow, as well. To say the least, he was a very hard-working gentleman — even on the weekends, after working at such a grueling regular job, Mr. Dye made the time to serve his community through service organizations and church. He was invited to join the Lions Club shortly after moving to Seymour and later became president of the local chapter for a time, leading their many charitable campaigns.
He and his family regularly attended and were members of the Seymour United Methodist Church.
Burless was valued as a trustworthy and dependable asset and gem of the community.
Nellie has her own incredible strengths and a history of community advocacy. Loving son. Cherished brother. Humble war hero. Builder. Hard working. Loyal husband. Teacher. Patriot. Christian.
There are no words to adequately describe his presence, his wisdom, his unique sense of humor, his irreproachable character and his unconditional love.
Mr. Dye was an incomparable role model for his sons and then two generations to follow and to all who knew him.
That was Burless Leo Dye. Matthew 25:21: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Mr. Dye is survived by his wife, Nellie, of Seymour; his oldest son, Randy, and his wife, Celeste, of Rogersville; his younger son, Andy, and his wife, Carla, of Spring Hill, Tenn.; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
The Dye family would like to thank the good people at Glenwood Healthcare of Seymour for their love, care, comfort and support.
The Dye family thanks the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing them to keep Burless for so long.