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School 17



May 9, 1943 ~ December 14, 2018 (age 75)

Mrs. Virginia Burgess, age 75 of the Alaqua Community of Walton County passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, December 14, 2018 at her home surrounded by her family.  She was born May 9, 1943 in DeFuniak Springs, the daughter of Woodrow and Ella Lou Sunday Gillis.   Virginia attended Walton High School, graduating with the Class of 1961.  While in high school,  and fifteen years old, she attended a peanut boil at Piney Grove Church and met a boy named Roy Burgess.  The young love that blossomed that day bloomed for the rest of Virginia and Roy’s lives.  While dating, they drove by the parcel of land where they would someday build their dream home, Roy glanced over at the parcel and said “we will buy that parcel of land one day”, and that they did.  Virginia went on to  West Florida after high school and eventually ended up with her Master’s Degree.  She taught first in Freeport, at the high school  teaching PE and coaching girls’ softball.  Later she came to West DeFuniak and that would be her home,  there in 2nd grade, and then kindergarten until her retirement some 35 years later.  After Roy's death in 1997, Virginia battled health problems of her own.  Thing is, you would have never known she was sick at all unless she told you.  Her loving, caring, friendly personality never lost its’ radiance and if you met her in a store or out in town she would turn the conversation to you, and how you were doing.  Known by the family as the most “social” person they have ever known, Virginia had other qualities too; like  canning her own tomato juice, which she later would add to some of the best vegetable beef soup anywhere.  And then there was the quilting and the sewing; her bedroom equipped with an arts and crafts department for future projects that will now have to be finished in Glory Land.  This mild mannered sweet little lady had her own views when it came to politics and the state of our nation, and only one word describes her viewpoint, CONSERVATIVE to the core.  Anyone who knows Virginia Burgess knows if you asked her today, and she could answer, she would tell you she had the most wonderful and fulfilled life anyone could ever hope for.  She probably believe that  because she put her faith and trust in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   Virginia will be spending Christmas in Heaven with her husband, Roy.  She is predeceased by  her brother Frank Morrison and his wife Elvie and Charlie Gillis  and  his wife Margie, her sisters-in-law Christine Cadle and Juatriene Gillis and her brother-in-law Gene Burgess.    

Among survivors are her children, Greg Burgess and wife Vicki and her daughter Gena Rhodes and husband Dusty.  .  Her grandchildren, Michelle Hohman and husband Justin, Bailey Burgess, Madi Burgess, Dustin Rhodes and wife Erin, Mikael Rhodes and wife Laura and Jamie Rhodes.  Her great grandchildren, Merryn, Emilia, Liliana and Evelyn also survive.  Her brothers, Doug Gillis, Wendel Gillis, Adrian Gillis and wife Rachel and Ronald Gillis and wife Gail.   Her brothers-in-law Ron Burgess and wife Susan and Keith Cadle.  Her sisters-in-law Montez Golden and husband Roy, Pat Burgess, Betty Burgess and Sharon Anderson and husband Paul.  

Memorials may be made in Virginia Burgess’ memory to Alaqua United Methodist Church, 4198 Coy Burgess Loop, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32435.   A time of visitation will be Monday, December 17, 2018 from 10 until 11 A.M. in Jerry Evans Chapel with the funeral beginning at 11:00 with Reverend Henry Martin officiating.  Burial will follow in the Burgess Family Plot in Alaqua Cemetery.   

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