Elizabeth Rebecca Birdsong Burke

Published 7:12 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Elizabeth Rebecca Birdsong Burke, born Dec. 23, 1916, passed away Oct. 21, 2018, just two months away from her 102nd birthday.

She was born in Vicksburg, the daughter of John Thomas Birdsong and Marylu Walker Birdsong. While growing up, she was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She had a happy life growing up on Clay Street in a house full of parents, sister and cousins taken in during the depression. In 2011, she wrote a book about her remarkable home life. She attended Vicksburg schools, graduating from Carr Central High School in 1935, attended All Saints College for two years, and graduated from Mississippi College for Women in 1940. She began her career working at J.D. Pond Accounting Company and Williams Wholesale Grocery Company in Vicksburg.

Elizabeth married William Ottis Burke (Bill) of Jackson, in 1942. Bill was serving in the Army and just received orders sending him overseas to Europe. While Bill was serving in World War II, she worked at the Mississippi River Commission and Waterways Experiment Station. After Bill’s return in 1945, they moved to Jackson.

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After raising her children to high school age, she began a second working career at Sander School and Willowood Development Center in 1962 and retiring after dedicating 19 years to teaching her wonderful children. While living in Jackson, she was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; sister, Mary Lyerly Birdsong Duval of Vicksburg, and great granddaughter, Sadie Marie Campbell.

She is survived by her son, William Thomas (Bill) Burke and wife Jeanne of Jackson; daughter, Beverly Gail Burke and husband Richard Moffett of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; grandchildren, Jennifer White of Winterpark, Florida; Matthew Burke and wife Nancy of Plano, Texas; Katy Burke Campbell and husband Chris of Franklin, Tennessee; Lyerly Burke Christensen and husband Kenny of Hattiesburg, and five great grandchildren, Walker and Gracie Legler, Claire and Marleigh Christensen and Jesse Campbell.

Special thanks are given to the staff at Clinton Healthcare for kind and wonderful care during her four years as a resident.

Visitation is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at Sebrell Funeral Home in Ridgeland and will continue at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg. 

Memorials may be made to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 621 Duling Avenue, Jackson, MS 39216.

Sebrell Funeral Home of Ridgeland is in charge of arrangements.