Burley Joe McCandless
Member Winslow Class of 1949
April 25, 2008
Burley Joe “BJ” McCandless, 76, of Barboursville died Friday, April 25, 2008, at his residence.
He was born December 17, 1931, in Pike County, Indiana, a son of the late Joseph McCandless and Viola Orander McCandless. He was a member of the Winslow High School Class of 1949.
Burley Joe (or “BJ” to most) never met a stranger. BJ was a decorated Korean War Veteran. BJ landed in Korea at the age of 18, within days of arriving in Korea he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. He was wounded in February of 1951 and captured by the Koreans in the Spring of 1951. He was marched for 13 days without food and water before being left for dead. BJ was the recipient of two purple hearts.
BJ was a talented musician and vocalist. He wrote and recorded “Baby Don’t Walk Out On Me” which was number 1 on the country charts for six weeks in the early 70’s. In addition to his own musical career, he played behind some of the country’s biggest artists like Roy Clark, George Jones and others. He also recorded with David Wills. BJ also shared his musical talents with his friends, community and even played for his church. BJ most recently had his own gospel group, The Gospel harmonaires, who recorded two albums.
He was a member of the DAV, American Legion VFW, 23rd Infantry Korean War Branch, 2nd (Indianhead) Division Association, Korean War Veterans Alliance and Military Order of the Purple Heart. BJ was a member of the Gordonsville Christian Church but most recently attend Knight’s Chapel in Barboursville where he played the keyboard.
Mr. McCandless is survived by his wife, Joyce McCandless of Barboursville, one daughter, Carol Wilson and her husband, Charles of Orange, three sons, Jack Wilde and his wife, Lil of Arvonia, Guy Wilde or Barboursville and Bobby Joe McCandless of Baltimore, Maryland, two brothers, Bernard McCandless and Pat McCandless, both of Oakland City, Indiana, three sisters, Mary Bruce, Betty Cooper and Beulah Cooper, all of Oakland CIty, Indiana, six grand-children, one great-grand-child; his loving dog, “Cubby”; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was also preceded in death by three brothers, Jim Oberding, Bobby Eugene McCandless and Beulis McCandles.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at the Preddy Funeral Home Chapel in Gordonsville with interment at Maplewood Cemetery with military honors. The Reverend Terry Jewll and the Reverend Jim Blackwell officiated.
The family received friends from 6 until 8 pm, Monday, April 28, 2008 at the funeral home.