“A kind soul who recklessly loved people,” is how one friend described Justin Charles Landrum. Justin was reunited with his mom and dad in heaven on February 8, 2023, after blessing this earth with his uplifting presence for 37 years. Born March 11, 1985, Justin came into this world with a huge heart for serving others. He was an only child, but faithful family and friends devotedly traveled beside him on life’s short journey. Those who knew Justin best were witness to his relentless desire to impart joy and beauty into everything he saw and to everyone he met.
During his recent time in the hospital ICU following an unexpected and tragic incident, Justin never lost faith or his determination to live out his calling and mission. He centered his life around two beliefs: “Know thyself” and “The greatest of these is love” —the sum of all philosophical and Biblical truths.
Preceding Justin in death were his parents, Willie Gene Landrum and Katie Lynette Ferguson Landrum (West Mountain); grandparents, John N. and Susie Ferguson (West Mountain); Jimmie Landrum (West Mountain). Surviving are his husband, Nathaniel Burgess (Longview) and grandmother Annette Payne (Ore City), a host of aunts, uncles, close cousins, and other family members and dear friends. Sadly, Justin leaves behind his canine babies, the loves of his life, Ra and Itsy . The presence and companionship of Ra, age 15, comforted Justin through the loss of his parents. **Note: At the time this obituary was being written, Ra, grieving and lost without Justin, died peacefully.
Graduating from Union Grove High School in 2003, Justin was a positive, encouraging friend to all his classmates. His enthusiastic personality and jovial spirit made him the perfect choice for the Lions’ cheerleader and mascot. Justin also participated in band and theater, showcasing his musical and stage talents. Oh, how he loved to perform and entertain! After high school, Justin attended East Texas Baptist University. Outside of school, he testified to his love of God, playing an active role in the youth ministry at New Hopewell Church, West Mountain.
Justin’s desire to serve others was evident in his chosen occupations. During college, he worked at Cheddar’s and Starbucks . Employment at Starbucks matched his out-going personality. Not only did he enjoy meeting new people and talking with patrons, but also he began an extensive training in coffeeology, earning him the “black apron” title as a coffee master. Justin’s favorite pastime, no doubt, was sipping a perfectly-blended cup of coffee while engaging in philosophical conversation. Later, he worked at Tomboni’s Bistro in Longview.
Staying true to his reputation as a “people person,” Justin eagerly became involved in civic affairs and the work of non-profit organizations. These opportunities included employment as a social services trainer at ARC of Gregg County, case manager at Women’s Center of East Texas, and membership on the Longview Unity and Diversity Committee. Justin was especially proud of his participation in Leadership Longview GOAT Class ‘19. He felt blessed by the experiences and opportunities Leadership Longview offered and the new friendships he made. Heeding a call from the Lord, Justin served as sound tech at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Longview and also provided special music on occasion. Above all, Justin was compassionate and desired to help others. He served on the board at Serenity Church in Longview to plan activities and services for those struggling in life. At the time of his death, Justin worked for Maximus, assisting people with Medicare and Medicaid plans and services.
The family would like to thank everyone who helped cover expenses for Justin’s funeral.
His unexpected death and the surrounding uncertainties made arrangements somewhat difficult to manage. Your prayers, kind words, and shared memories have been our saving grace through this time of loss. In lieu of flowers, donations in Justin’s name to a non-profit organization of your choice would be fitting and welcomed.
Family and friends look forward to celebrating the life of Justin Charles Landrum on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at 2:00 in the afternoon. This service will be held at White Oak United Methodist Church, 503 W. Center St., White Oak (the log cabin church). Dress is casual and comfortable. Following the service, family and close friends will gather for interment at Union Grove Cemetery, N. Point Pleasant Rd., Gladewater TX. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of East Texas Funeral Home.
Heart-felt words to Justin from friends:
“Thank you for the life you spoke into me.”
“Thank you for healing us all a little before you left.”
“Give of your hands to serve and your hearts to love.” -Mother Teresa
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