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Thelma Mae Burgess

December 29, 1934 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Thelma Burgess Obituary

Thelma Burgess was the oldest of five (5) children born to the union of James and Flossie Trower Burgess on December 29, 1934, in Northampton County, Virginia. She peacefully transitioned on 
January 2024, in Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital. 

She was preceded in death by her son, Purnell Burgess; one sister, Rosalee Burgess and two brothers, James Burgess, Jr. and Preston Burgess (Gladys). 

Thelma lived most of her life on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She received her high school diploma after attending Northampton High School. After graduating, she worked at G L Webster Factory and also spent countless hours as a common laborer in many local fields in Northampton County. Later in life, Thelma worked at Perdue Farms, in Accomack County, VA, where she retired after 37 years of labor. Thelma was known for her love of clothing and traveling. Every time she stepped out of the door, she was sharp as a tack! She matched her clothing and accessories from head to toe, leaving nothing out of place. Even when going to work at Perdue, she was dressed to impress somebody, anybody, everybody!! 

Let’s not forget her love of travel.  At a young age, she would travel with Bishop Estella D. Smith on many occasions. She could pack a suitcase like nobody’s business, with everything rolled, tucked and folded. And yes, this would all be done at least a week or two in advance. Although Thelma didn’t drive, she awaited all calls asking her did she want to ride.  It was very seldom that she would not take anybody up on their offer.  Thelma didn’t care where she was asked to go: up the road, down the road, across the bay, within the state, out of state.  It just didn’t matter.  She 
would travel by car, truck, van, bus, airplane, any way she could, except for by ship. She would say she can’t drink all of that water.  In addition to traveling, she enjoyed eating fish, liver and grits, chicken feet, lima beans and tomatoes and cream potatoes. 

As an active member of the Mt. Sinai Gospel Tabernacle Church, Thelma would attend church as often as she could. She was dedicated to being on time, paying her tithes, supporting programs, and heading the Family and Friends Committee. If you were on her team, she made sure you knew your responsibilities by giving you a little piece of paper with your name on it; or one of her sideways looks and gently ask, well maybe not gently, “Have you taken care of your responsibility?”  If you had any excuses, one of her favorite lines, with her lips puckered and head to the side 
would be, “Yeah, you right!” She didn’t forget much and would let you know it. This includes who would ride by her house and toot and also who didn’t toot. Her vision was certainly 20/20. 

Thelma was a strong woman and complained very little about how she really felt. On January 8, 2024, Thelma was admitted to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital in Onancock, VA. She fought a good fight while doctors worked to relieve her discomfort. While resting, she quietly slipped away to her eternal resting place. 

She leaves behind to cherish her memory: her sister and best friend, Dorothy Mae Booker, Alexandria, VA; brother, Samuel Burgess (Debbie) Richmond, VA; three nieces, Felicia Baskin (Roger) Alexandria, VA; Tamika Parker (Thomas) Belle Haven VA; Yakima Ames, Cheapside, VA; nephew, Samuel Burgess, Jr., Virginia Beach, VA; great-niece, Nia Baskin, Murfreesboro, NC; special great-niece, (Thandie) she faithfully called “Baby Girl”, Alexandria, VA; great nephews, Roger Baskin Jr. Alexandria, VA and Joshua Baskin, Alexandria, VA; godson, Adrian Justice II, and a host of great nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.

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Funeral Service
January 27, 2024

2:00 PM
Mt. Sinai Gospel Tabernacle
23066 Banks Road
Cape Charles, VA 23310

Interment following funeral service
January 27, 2024

African Baptist Church
4224 Sunnyside Rd
Cheriton, VA 23316


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