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Elsie Norma Wesley Burwell
SoVaNow.com / July 09, 2013
Elsie Norma Wesley Burwell was born to the late Warner Wesley Jr., and the late Gladys Frye Wesley in White Hall, on April 5, 1937. She was the youngest of seven children born to this union.
She was preceded in death by her siblings Alice Ivory, Richard Wesley, Henry Wesley and Warner Wesley III.
Elsie was educated in the Albermarle County public school system. After graduating from high school, she matriculated at Virginia State College University), in Petersburg, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Later, Elsie broadened her educational pursuits by earning a Master’s of Public Administration Degree from Howard University in 1986. Elsie married her college sweetheart, Everett Evans Burwell Sr., on June 14, 1959. To this union was born two children, Everett, Jr., and Esther. Upon graduating from Virginia State College, Elsie relocated to Washington, DC and began her 33 year distinguished career with the federal government. Having the skill and ability to accomplish great tasks, Elsie ascended her way from entry level employee to become deputy firector for the Office of Civil Rights for the United States Department of Labor before her retirement in 1992.
Elsie accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of White Hall, where she was a faithful member until her departure for college. In 1973, Elsie joined in worship with her husband at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Suitland, Md. It was there where Elsie hit her stride in the service of the Lord and would serve in numerous positions, including deaconess, Sunday school teacher and superintendent, choir president, key developer and leader in the “12 Tribes of Jacob” membership in-reach program, and a powerful force in the missionary society. Elsie was also the catalyst in securing a grant to develop and implement the Youth-At-Risk community outreach program at Mt. Ararat. She remained faithful in her service to God at Mt. Ararat until she relocated to Clarksville, in 2001, when she united with the Cedar Grove Baptist Church #2. At Cedar Grove, her service to God did not end but continued to soar. Not only did she perform the same offices at Cedar Grove, Elsie’s deep caring and concern for the community’s health and wellness moved her to become a mentor and leader in healthy eating clinics and workshops. She also was a captain and leader with the local chapter of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life annual campaign. Just a few short weeks ago, she successfully coordinated and hosted the annual Survivor’s Luncheon. Elsie loved to explore fascinating places and things. In addition to many excursions to nearby nature hotspots, she was able to travel to thirty-three different states and nine different countries. One of her favorite pasttimes was to crab her binoculars and spend countless moments watching birds in the many feeders and houses she would maintain around her home. Her passion for bird watching has been passed on to her two grandchildren, who now enjoy “watching the birds like Grandma.” Elsie also shared a special love for her “four-legged” family members. Though she would never admit to it, she held a tight bond with “Trixie” (deceased), “Cokie”, and her daughter’s Akita “Sable” (deceased). She could talk with you for hours about the joys and challenges of caring for her pets. Elsie’s intellect, wit, tact, wisdom and humor has touched and positively affected numerous people and she will be profoundly missed.
She leaves to cherish her memory her husband of over 54 years, Everett, Sr.; two children: Everett, Jr. (Trina) of Washington, DC, and Esther of Durham, N.C.; two grandchildren: Jelani and Joseph, both of Washington, DC; two sisters: Pearl of Lawrenceville, and Janie Edwards of Aurora, Colo.; one brother-in-law: Stanley Burwell of Clarksville and Sharon Burwell of Brooklyn, NY; a special goddaughter: Alexis Williams of Bowie, Md; and a host of nieces, nephews other relatives and many, many friends.
Professional services provided by Carter’s Funeral Home.