We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Melcher Hammer Funeral Home
Jeremy M. Burnside was born on June 28, 1978, in Cleveland, Ohio. He went home to be with the Lord on June 14 at home, surrounded by his loved ones.
Jeremy graduated from Brooklyn High in 1996 after participating on the wrestling, cross country, and track teams. He received his undergrad degree from the University of Charleston (WV). He was elected to many leadership positions, including student government president, captain of the crew team as well as the 1998 US Army ROTC National Sojourners Award and Cadet of the Year.
Upon graduation from college, he earned a position as a legislative intern and analyst for the WV Senate Committee on the Judiciary where he was inspired to go to law school. He applied to 26 schools and was accepted to 2, one of which was nestled up the road in Grundy, Virginia, at the Appalachian School of Law, where he feels most of his real-life experiences really began.
In 2001, that law school journey began with him finding a way to become the worst law student in America after that predecessor of that title shot six, killed three, and inspired his book, Look to Your Left. The events which took place the following semester were when things really got difficult. Some may say that those events prepared him for the rare brain tumor and rarer brain disease that he so bravely battled.
After passing the Ohio bar, he practiced law in Cleveland for five years. In 2009, he took a risk and moved to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he met the love of his life, Maddie. The small Ohio town, considered part of the Appalachian Peninsula, right where he wanted to be based upon murdered Dean L. Anthony Sutin a Harvard graduate who dedicated his career to making ASL Appalachia’s legal training ground. He took that seriously and grew his practice to West Virginia and Kentucky, two places very special to him to serve that shared dream. He assisted hundreds of personal injury clients for nearly (hopefully over) twenty years. He became friends with most of his clients and felt professionally fulfilled from this very rewarding experience. He thrived on taking challenging cases and enjoyed assisting the Underdog.
Jeremy was instrumental in starting the local organization, Friends of Portsmouth, igniting a movement helping to revitalize Portsmouth. In 2018, he orchestrated Plant Portsmouth, by bringing together the community to break a world record, “Most People Potting a Plant Simultaneously”. Jeremy was a guy who convinced his community to throw a “pep rally” to quiet the nay-sayers, a guy who said, come to Portsmouth, to Dream, Build & Live here, He said let’s build a Unity Project, I’ll be Milton Kennedy. He said let’s GO OUTSIDE and ride bikes in the forest, I’ll help carve the paths. He said let’s race boats on the river again. He said, let's get Minor League Baseball to put a museum here. Jeremy was very passionate about his community, and made it well-known through the energy, heart, and soul he invested in it.
Most of all, Jeremy was a faith-driven family man. His Catholic faith was always his driving force and was the foundation of his love for Maddie, as well as his 4 girls, who made him realize what was truly important as his life was winding down. He loved nothing more than to spend time outside with his family, swimming, hiking, biking & even starting a little farm for the girls to enjoy.
Jeremy was preceded in death by his dad, Michael Burnside, and grandparents Ed and Helen Romanowski and Ruth and Virgil Burnside. He is survived by his nurturing mother, Mary, his beloved wife Madelyn ("Maddie"), and their four children: daughters, Maura Rose, Marty Katherine, Maren Elizabeth, and Macie Elaine. He is also survived by his dear sister Jennifer (Edwin) Martell, and half-sister Nicole Riehl; beloved in-laws, Robert & Jeanne Rutman, Ryan & Chivonne Rutman, Nick & Kendra Rutman, Carly & Dan Godshall; Nieces & Nephews, Marissa Soto, Xavier Williams, Marissa, Carter and Evan Riehl, Addie-Belle & Charleigh Rutman and Sawyer, Bowen & Griffin
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 1:00 PM Friday, June 17, 2022 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Portsmouth, with Rev. Brian Beal officiating. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth. A visitation for friends and relatives will be on Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church from 10:00 A.M. until the start of Mass at 1:00 P.M. Melcher Hammer Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to be made to The Friends of Portsmouth in honor of Jeremy at PO Box 132, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
“My Catholic faith has always been my driving force and is the foundation for my love for Maddie, who has made me realize what is truly important as I wind down what has been an awesome life and look forward to meeting my God.” - Jeremy