Margaret L. Burleson, “Mamma Margaret” “Maggie” died peacefully on Thursday, January 18, 2018.
She lives on through her two children, two grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, a brother, many nieces and nephews, a life-long best friend from childhood and an extended family of friends and relations gathered from each chapter of her rich life.
We learned so much from Margaret during her 87 years, including such things as: always creatively extend the use of ‘left-over’ food for as long as possible; never say never, especially when it comes to adopting an ‘out-side’ farm dog and making him an ‘in-side’ farm dog; and always meet life’s challenges with determination. When her granddaughter was faced with a particularly hard challenge she said, “You are strong. Lift your head up high and keep moving.” Her culinary talents reminded many family and friends of their inability to make the perfect pimento cheese, pickled green beans or fried okra. She was an example of loving through actions and deeds. She believed that one should always wear lipstick and be presentable above all else. She taught us many lessons in grace.
When given the responsibility of making funeral arrangements for her absentee father in an unfamiliar city, she was asked by the funeral director how her father looked. She replied, “dead” and then proceeded to take her lipstick from her purse, applying a little more color to her father’s lips and cheeks. With this simple, last offer of grace to a man she didn’t really know, she said a final farewell.
She also taught that recipes are best when amounts are measured in “a little of this and a little of that” and when it came to her multi-month marinated, brandied Christmas fruit cake, she believed in adding “a little more of that” brandy. She believed in taking in and taking care of other people’s children as if they were your own. And above all, she believed in relishing her family and loving them in the best ways possible.
Over the last few months of her life, she reminded everyone that life is way too short. She wished she had been able to do more for her family, to live on this earth a little longer to see how the lives of those she knew and loved would unfold. She especially wished that she could watch her great-grand children grow up. She will.
Margaret is survived by many family members of whom she was so very proud. Children: Deeanna (husband Mark Robinson, who we believe to know all of her secrets); Johnny (husband and “second son” Walter Clark, who took her in as his own). Grandchildren: Aimee (husband JT Fink, children Kaelyn and Parker); Allison (husband Darris Whitley, children Caleb, Conner, Cody, Caroline); Alex Robinson Frech ; Maddy Frech Robinson; beloved brother Charles S. “Jim” Little, Jr. (wife, Brenda); nieces and nephews Chuck Little (wife, Carrie), Anna Kessler (husband Jason, and son Bratton Epps, Margaret’s favorite great-nephew); Leigh Ellen Wilson (husband Buster); JP Kimble (husband Matt); Ruth Anne McHenry (husband Michael, child Barrett); Roma Gene Taylor (rumored to be her favorite niece); Kathy Odell (husband, David); Myra Ledbetter (husband, Tony); Terri Parker-Bennett (husband Jay); Dwight Burleson (wife, Johnnie). She is also survived by a very special friend since childhood, Kathleen B. Efird (the one who really knows all of her secrets) and daughter Cecilia Cook (husband Grover).
Additionally, she is survived by numerous family friends in Ashe County, North Carolina where she lived for several years. Most importantly the Greer family of Horse Creek: Eddie and Ellen Greer Woodie (daughter Savannah and husband Michael Brinegar); Jimmy Dean Greer (wife, Betty Lou); Peter Greg Greer; Russell Greer; Debbie Greer; Rick Greer; Sam Greer, and Roger Greer.Margaret is reunited with her husband Johnny Dwight Burleson and her beloved ‘inside’ farm dog Brownie. She is predeceased by her parents, Annie B. Hill and charlie s. little and great-grand daughter Brooke Leigh Ann.
Margaret will lie in state at Hartsell Funeral Home of Albemarle from 9:30 am until 10:30 am on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. A graveside service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Pine Grove United Methodist Church, 28766 US 24-27, Albemarle, NC.
All those attending are invited to gather after the service in the church parsonage for a reception. Dress comfortably and don’t forget your lipstick if it suits.
In Margaret’s honor, memorial donations may be made to Ashe County Partnership for Children, 626 Ashe Central School Road, Unit 1, Jefferson, NC 28640; or Women’s Fellowship, Pine Grove United Methodist Church, 28766 NC 24/27, Albemarle, NC 28001.
Hartsell Funeral Home Albemarle is serving the Burleson family.
Online condolences may be made at www.hartsellfh.com.