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Burkle Carmichael '46 April 23, 2021 3:10 PM updated: April 23, 2021 3:34 PM

Burkle Jay Carmichael
December 15, 1923 - April 04, 2021

Burkle Jay (BJ) Carmichael, 97, of Ocala, passed away at home on April 4.

Easter Sunday this year will take on additional significance for the fortunate people who knew Burkle Jay Carmichael as he went home to be with the Lord. Another unsung American hero, “BJ” had an incredible life: a decorated WWII veteran who survived the Battle of the Bulge and the German Stalag IV-B POW camp, a successful business man who traveled all over the world, but most of all, he was a dutiful husband of 66 years to his wife Jean and his four children.

His joy in the later years of his life was undoubtedly his grandchildren. “Papa” was always ready with a word of advice and a game of Gin. He would sincerely listen and empathize, all while “beating the pants off you” at cards. He was quick to smile and offer help if needed. He would often draw from his years of sales experience and say, “treating people with respect and kindness has become increasingly rare…and it’s ok to be rare”.

Like many veterans, he didn’t talk much about his time in WWII until later in life; both out of a humility for his service to his country as well as a desire to not relive a horrific time. But as he did pass along those stories of friendship, pain and triumph, his eyes would clearly tell you there was more.

To say he will be greatly missed doesn’t begin to capture it. He was firm in his faith and knew he was heading home to Heaven. He would often say he was content to stay here on earth working until the Lord called him home. And work he did. He was an avid gardener and woodworker, volunteered and attended regularly at Christ the King Anglican Church, and spoke to numerous schools both local and statewide about his experiences in WWII. It has been said that you will never know how big of shadow you cast on others in life. His reach will be felt for years to come.

He is survived by Michael and Becki Carmichael, Rory Carmichael '79, and Julie '81 and Steve '82 Dalton. As well as 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. To view a live stream of BJ’s celebration service go to on April 17 at 4:30pm.

©Veterans Funeral Care

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