Mary Edmunds “May” Burns

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Clarksdale, MS

Mary Edmunds “May” Burns, 82, a retired owner/operator of Anchuca Bed and Breakfast in Vicksburg, MS, died Thursday, June 30, 2022, at Azalea Commons of Batesville. Private graveside services are Tuesday, July 5, at 2 p.m. with burial in the Oakridge Cemetery. Meredith-Nowell Funeral Home in Clarksdale, MS is handling the arrangements.

Survivors include sons William B. Raiford III, Cary H. Raiford, Martin L. Burns, Jr. all of Oxford, MS; brothers Charles (Betsy) P. Cocke of Charlottesville, VA, Cary (“Pam”) H. Cocke of Charlotte, NC, John (“Robin”) H. Cocke of Clarksdale, MS; grandchildren Ellen Raiford and Reynolds Raiford of Oxford, MS, Bentley Raiford of Meridian, MS, Jackson and R.W. Burns and Quinn Burns of Long Beach, MS.

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May was preceded in death by her husband Martin Lombard Burns; parents Cary and Mary Edmunds Peacock Cocke; and brother William Richards Cocke.

May grew up in Clarksdale and attended Clarksdale High School where she graduated in 1957. At CHS May played on the tennis team, basketball team, was Editor of the yearbook, on the debate team,  and was Homecoming Queen.

May later attended the University of Mississippi and the University of Oklahoma, and obtained a degree in elementary education. She later commuted to Oxford and obtained a Masters of Education.

May taught elementary school in the Catholic School in Clarksdale. May then married Martin Lombard Burns, originally of Hillhouse, and moved to Vicksburg. Lombard and May had a large farm where her boys enjoyed horses, three-wheelers, motorcycles, hunting, fishing and more. May loved to ride her horse Dipsiedoodle.

May and Lombard eventually bought a historic home in Vicksburg, Anchuca, and completely renovated the home.

After Lombard was killed and her oldest boys had gone off to college, May converted Anchuca into a bed and breakfast, which she ran for many years and hosted many famous guests.

Most recently she has been retired and living in Flowers Manor in Clarksdale.

Memorials may be sent to Flowers Manor at 1251 W Lee Dr. Clarksdale, MS 38614 or to St. George’s Church, 106 Sharkey, Clarksdale, MS 38614.