Mrs. Etheleen Hale Burney began her earthly journey on Friday, November 2, 1928, as a bundle of joy for Mr. Jim Hale and Mre. Elenner Evans of Sylacauga, Alabama. She was the oldest of four siblings who preceded her in death, Myrtis Bell Moore, Emma Lee McKinney, and Percy Hale. Her earthly journey ended on Sunday morning, September 5th. 2021.
She united in matrimony to the late Rev. Wyona H. Burney, Sr. of Sylacauga for 63 years. This union was blessed with five children, Andrew (Deceased), Bruce, Wyona, Jr., Terry, and Jacquelyn.
Although she only had an eight-grade education, she along with her husband worked as a team to raise their children the right way. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” She did her part, as her husband’s workmate, to make sure that their children had a good education in school and church. It is often that, “a preacher’s kid were supposed to be the worst ones,” but she was determined that her kids would not be in that number. One of the rules was, “If you stay here, you have to abide by the rules.” To not behave, was not an option. As a mother, she was a disciplinarian and nurturer. She mainly worked in the home until her children were old enough to manage for themselves. She worked for Sylacauga Recreation Center, Beaunit Mills, and Avondale Mills before retiring. Her family gave her joy and she was not ashamed to show it. She once said, “I have lost Mother, Daddy, Emma, Myrtis, and Percy, but the hardest thing was losing Andrew, my first born.” She knew no strangers and opened her home to all. If her children ate, she made sure that everyone ate. If you spent anytime around her, you had to love her. Whether it was eating her delicious meals or enjoying her sense of humor. She would always brag about how good of a basketball player she was.
She was a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church and served as First lady of Tallassahatchie Baptist Church alongside her husband. Her mobility was limited for the past few years but that didn’t stop her. She loved everyone but most of all she loved her husband. Sunday was always special in her home. She looked forward to Sundays because everyone could go to church and visit her family. How fitting is it that early on Sunday morning, July 27, 2014, her husband of 63 years left us. Fast forward seven years, early on Sunday morning, September 5, 2021, she reunited with her husband for morning service with God. She loved a blessed life of 92 years. It was his time to call and hers to answer. I can her those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” “Come home, your journey is over.”
She leaves to cherish her memories, three sons, Bruce (Minerva) Burney, Tucker, GA; Wyona (Deborah - Deceased) Burney, Jr. of Montgomery, AL; Terry (Kathy) Burney of Irondale, AL; and Jacquelyn (Liston) of Auburn, AL; nine grandchildren, Tanita, Sheneka, Marcus, Gary, Marsha, Tiffany, Terry, Jr., Matthew, and Kristin; two great grandchildren, Adairian and KoAzyia, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
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