On the morning of Feb. 18, 2014, Thomas Joseph McBurney Jr. (Lil Mac) was called home to the Lord’s house after a courageous battle with lung cancer since 2008.
Thomas Joseph McBurney Jr. was born in Hayward, May 16, 1944, the son of Thomas J. and LaVera (Allen) McBurney Sr.
Lil Mac was a joyous and wonderful man; he had his own ways of making people laugh. Lil Mac was very dear and supportive to his family and friends. Most importantly he was our hero. Lil Mac was a kindhearted person who would take the time to offer advice to anyone and when it came to sports he encouraged many of his nieces and nephews to show their athletic ability. Lil Mac was an avid athlete also. Lil Mac showed compassion and support of our basketball teams at the Lac du Flambeau Public School and at Lakeland Union High School. Lil Mac was always cheering on the home teams and often traveled to their away games. During Lil Mac’s final days he spent surrounded by family and friends that Lil Mac had touched in some way throughout his short 69 years and yet a very memorable life. For those who were touched by Lil Mac understood that quality of existence far exceeds the quantity of time in which one lives. Lil Mac gave us all such courage and hope and reminded us of the preciousness of life. Lil Mac loved his music and was very faithful to his faith. During his lifetime Lil Mac graduated from the Lac du Flambeau Grade School and he also graduated from Lakeland Union High School in 1961. Lil Mac the joined the United States Navy in 1962. While serving in the U.S. Navy, Lil Mac had the opportunity to see the world for the next 22 and half years, which led to his retirement in March 1984. After retiring from the United States Navy, Lil Mac then returned home to become employed with the Lac du Flambeau Tribe as the compliance officer which led to an accountant and to his current position at the William Poupart Tribal Fish Hatchery. Lil Mac had also served on many committees within the tribe. Lil Mac had been employed with the tribe for more than 20-plus years. Lil Mac was a wonderful godfather to many children in the community. Lil Mac was adored by many nieces and nephews. Lil Mac will be greatly missed by all who have served with him or shared a laugh with him.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Margaret (Peterson) McBurney; four daughters, LaVera McBurney, Blanche Peterson McBurney, Joanna Peterson and Marti Lynch; by one son, Jason (Tina) Peterson, all of Lac du Flambeau; by one grandson, Thomas Joseph McBurney III; by many nieces and nephews; by his brothers-in-law, Eugene Soulier Sr., Thomas Wayman Jr., David, Edward, James Peterson; and sisters-in-law, Berry Ann LaBarge, Janice, Eleanor, Roseann Peterson and Mary Martin.
Lil Mac was preceded in death by his four sisters, Betty Lou Soulier, Audrey Ann Wayman, Pearl Doud St. Germaine and Bernadine DePalma.
Funeral services were held Feb. 24, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church with burial at Memorial Cemetery.
The family of Thomas J. McBurney Jr. would like to extend a special thank you to the Howard Young Medical Center staff in caring for Thomas during his sickness. Also for those who helped in any way, we thank you.
Online condolences may be shared at www.nimsgernfuneral.com.
Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services is handling the arrangements.