Services for Willie Banard Burks, 92, of Tyler, will be held on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10:00AM at Stewart Family Funeral Home chapel with Dr. David Dykes officiating.Burial will follow in Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Longview, Texas under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Mr. Burks passed away on January 20, 2009 at Hospice Home Place in Tyler.
Mr. Burks was born on April 25, 1916 in Amherst County, Virginia, to the late Robert L. and Lizzie Shepherd Burks. He was one of eleven children and was raised on a 300 acre farm near Lynchburg, Virginia. Willie asked Jesus to be his Lord at the age of 29, and was very active in church music ministries throughout his life. He worked on road crews in Virginia and was even a hobo for a short time before working at U.S. Steel in Philadelphia and Levittown, Pennsylvania. He was musically talented and rarely seen without his guitar. He actually played in a western band called the Jolly Range Riders and after becoming a Christian he continued his music ministry by playing in various prisons, nursing homes, rescue missions and churches. He was well known in music circles of that day, and even played at the Grand Ole Opry. He married Dorothy Eastwood in 1951. In 1980, the couple moved to Longview to be near their son. After Dorothy’s death in 1990, he met and married Edith Perry in 1996. At the time of his death, Willie was a member of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, and formerly of Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview and Forest Home Baptist in Kilgore. On January 20, 2009, God called his faithful servant home to his new address - #1 Golden Boulevard, Heaven.
Mr. Burks was preceded in death by his wives Dorothy Eastwood Burks and Edith Perry Burks and ten brothers and sisters. He is survived by his loving family including his son Phil Burks and wife Bobbie of Tyler; daughter Joyce Boyle of Wichita, Kansas; daughter Shirley Schware and husband Vernon of Myerstown, Pennsylvania; 11 – grandchildren; 15 – great grandchildren; 3 – great great grandchildren.
Honorary Pallbearers will be the grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren; Green Acres Baptist Church Worship Ministry and Discover Life Television Ministry; employees of The Genesis Group; Mike Hampton and the entire staff of the Atria Copeland Assisted Living.
Visitation is scheduled from 4:00-6:00 PM on Sunday, January 25, 2009, at Stewart Family Funeral Home 7525 Old Jacksonville Hwy., in Tyler.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Willie B. Burks may be made to: Green Acres Baptist Church Worship Ministry or Discover Life Television Ministry 1607 Troup Hwy. Tyler, Texas 75701 or Hospice of East Texas 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, Texas 75701.