CHARLIE LOUIS “CHARLES” BURNETTE, affectionately known as “Pa”, departed this earthly life on Friday, December 26, 2014, at his home in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He entered this life on April 23, 1933, and was the eldest of seven children born to the late Joe Burnette, Sr. and Laura Jane Hicks Burnette.
Charlie was educated in the Halifax County Public School System at the former Print School in the Summit Community of Littleton, North Carolina. His entire life was dedicated to his church, family, and community. He had a delightfully loving spirit, and was a devoted husband, father, and a true friend to everyone.
He was married to the former Iona Brooks for sixty-three years, and this union was blessed with seven children. As a young responsible man who was determined to provide for his family, working became a favorite pastime for him. He enjoyed working and was not satisfied until the job was performed to meet his standard of perfection. He was very talented in many different trades.
Since his childhood years, he was a dedicated Christian member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church, where he taught by example. He served as a Deacon, Treasurer, Custodian, Church Overseer, Tribe Leader, and a member of the Male Choir. His love for singing allowed him many opportunities to share his talent and praise the Lord at different churches and venues within the state. He was also a member of the Littleton Male Chorus and enjoyed every chance to sing and serve the Lord with his brethren. Through his voice, sound advice, and heart of love, he developed lifetime friendships. Together, as friends, they found joy in worshiping and witnessing about God’s goodness. He always said, “ You have got to have a song in your heart, it will keep you going.” Despite life’s trials, he would often say, “No cross, No crown.” His life served as an example of faith, courage and strength, and he lived for his crown. He was also a member of the Prince Hall Free Masons.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Florine Elizabeth Burnette Harrison; and his two brothers, Joe and Ulysses Burnette.
Treasured memories of his life and love will be forever shared by his loving and dedicated wife, Iona Burnette of the home; his children, Marilynn Walls (Bertram) – Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Viola Harris (Mike) – Williamsburg, VA , Linda Kearney – Capitol Heights, MD, Joan Ivey – Hampton, VA , Kathy Powell (Ricky) – Brandywine, MD, and Charles Ray Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC; his grandchildren, Morgan Walls-Perkins (Enrico) – Nashville, TN, Bryan E. Walls – Atlanta, GA, Daron Harris – Williamsburg, VA, Nina Harris – Reston, VA, Kesha Rooks (Ricardo) – Gaston, NC, James “Dion” Harrison (Christina) – Dallas, TX, Jonathan Kearney (LaKesha) – Houston, TX, Lela Kearney – Capitol Heights, MD, Corrona Thompson – Hampton, VA, Mikel Thompson – Hampton, VA, Fiona Powell – Brandywine, MD, Kendrick Powell – Brandywine, MD, Charlie Burnette – Atlanta, GA, Teresa Burnette – Orlando, FL, and Patrese Burnette – Greensboro, NC; his great- grandchild, Erik Rooks – Gaston, NC, Destiny Rooks – Gaston, NC, Laila Kearney – Houston, TX, Matthew Kearney – Capitol Heights, MD, and Giovanna Harrison – Dallas, TX; his siblings, Horace Burnette (Mavis) – Roanoke Rapids, NC, Jessie Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC, John Henry Burnette (Mary Frances) – Oxon Hill, MD, and Hazel Mills – Ft. Washington, MD; his nieces and nephews, Gloria Edmonds – Ft. Washington, MD, Angela Jones – Waldorf, MD, Jerome Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC, Tawanda Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC, Karen Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC, David Burnette – Warrenton, NC, Toni Burnette – Richmond, VA, Laura Brinkley – Raleigh, NC, Pamela Burnette – Oxon Hill, MD, Sheila Burnette – Newport News, VA, and Sharissa Vann – Oxon Hill, MD; his sisters-in-law, Martha Bush – Roanoke Rapids, NC, and Lois Burnette – Roanoke Rapids, NC; and his devoted caregiver and friend, Clara “Bea” Alston, Littleton, NC; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, December 28, 2014, at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Littleton, NC. The Pastor, Rev. Dr. C.E. McCollum, will officiate, and burial will follow in the Burnette Family Cemetery, Thelma Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC. A viewing will be held at the church from 1:30 P.M. until the funeral time.