Mrs. Ellen Virginia Burton

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Celebration of Life Service for Ms. Ellen Virginia (“Bay”) Burton will be held Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Roe’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Whitesville.   Pastor Julian Warner and Rev. W. C. Thornton will officiate.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Ms. Burton, affectionately known as “Bay” by family and friends and “V.B.” by her co-workers, was born August 22, 1923 in Harris County, Georgia and was the daughter of the late Addis and Ocie Lee Brittian.   She was a lifelong member of Roe’s Chapel United Methodist Church where she played both piano and organ.  She served as a delegate to the United Methodist Church, was a member of the United Methodist Women and sang in the choir.

Virginia attended East Depot High School and became employed with the then City-County Hospital.  Through her self-motivation and perseverance she worked her way up to become the first African-American laboratory technician and phlebotomist.  During her tenure, she was honored to be name the first African-American Employee of the Year.  She retired after 41 years of dedicated service.

She joined the Golden Age Club and the Rochelle Federated Club with her mother, who was charter member of both.  Her “Banana Split Cake” was world renown.

Ellen Virginia Burton was preceded in death by her siblings: Dorothy B. Thornton and Albert Burton.   She leaves to cherish the memories of 95 fruitful years, her daughter: Mary Virginia Burton Gray of Jonesboro, GA; her granddaughter: Atty. Mauri deWaun Gray of Phoenix, AZ; siblings, John Ray Jr. and Clara Ray Moore, both of Jonesboro, GA; Henry Ray of LaGrange; first cousins, Alonza Burton, Chattanooga, TN; Doris Hodo, Chicago, IL; Freddie Smith, Chicago, IL; Minnie Wilkerson, Brooklyn, NY; devoted and supportive friend, Juanita Brooks, LaGrange; nephews and nieces, Melvin Thornton, Bernice T. Rector (William), Rev. William C. Thornton (Cynthia), Jarrell L. Thornton (Karen), Janice T. Hill (James), and Taylor A. Thornton (Lanetta); great nephews and nieces, Nichelle Williams, Shelencia Thornton, Vaughn Thornton, Aisha Rector, Angela Crystal Thornton, LaTisha Rector, DeAndre Thornton, Maurice A. Thornton, Sheena Arnett, LeTaylon Thornton, Jatorience Thornton, James-Addis Brittian Hill, Juwon Hill, Annsleigh Thornton, Jamani Hill, Christopher Thornton, Chancellor Thornton, Athena Thornton; along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.