She was born May 11, 1921, in Auburn, Alabama, the daughter of John Patrick and Eunice Jernigan Gillis. She grew up in Brewton, Alabama. She attended nursing school at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon graduation she joined the Army Nursing Corps and was later awarded a Battle Ribbon for her service to our country at the Battle of the Bulge. She was a Captain with the 185th General Hospital.
She was a generous, loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, and friend who always loved a good joke and never met a stranger…just a prospective friend. She grew up in the Presbyterian Church of Brewton, Alabama, and the faith she was nurtured in remained her strength. She raised her children and grandchildren in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” They are all confident of a reunion with her in the presence of our Lord.
She leaves behind her husband, Dr. Elkanah George Burson; her children: Sharman Jean Burson Ramsey (Mrs. Joel), Dr. Sylvia Jane Burson Rushing (Mrs. Thomas), Elkanah George Burson, III (Debbie Buford Burson), her grandchildren: Cecily Cathryn Ramsey Butterworth (Mrs. Stephan), Bethany Brooke Ramsey Evans (Mrs. Michael), Andrew Allen Ramsey (and Brittany Ballard, his fiancé), Hannah Elizabeth Jean Burson, Rebecca Jewel Burson, Mallory Martha Jane Burson, and Mary Elle Burson; her great grandchild: Lily Clare Butterworth; and one sister: Sylvia Gillis Snow (Mrs. Henry Snow of Birmingham). She is preceded in death by her parents, sisters, Virginia Gillis Grand and Patricia Gillis Cooper (Brewton, Alabama), and her brother James Gordon Gillis.
The family extends its sincere appreciation to Covenant Hospice, her devoted sitters, Betty Barefield, Ruby Walker, Camilla Walker, and Sarah Alford, dear friends Nagel Byrd and Mary Kirkland, and Reverend Allie Freeman who brought church into the home with his monthly communion visits.
The graveside service will be held at Palmer Cemetery in Furman, Alabama, at 2 p.m., on Saturday, July 17, 2010 with Reverend Allie Freeman officiating after which the family will receive friends and family at Wakefield Plantation, Furman, Alabama. Byrd Funeral Home on West Main Street is in charge of funeral arrangements