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Obituary Condolences

Family-Placed Death Notice

GOWENS, Mary Ann MARY ANN BURKE GOWENS Mrs. Mary Ann Burke Gowens passed from this life into the arms of Jesus on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 4:45 p.m. She was a loving and devoted wife to Dr. John (Jay) W. Gowens, II and daughter to the late Velma Freeman Burke. She was a Research Analysis for The University of Maryland and Georgia Tech and a city planner for The City of Atlanta, GA. She served as administrator/medical caregiver for Jay and Velma during their various hospital admissions to John Hopkins, The VA Hospital and nursing care facilities while disregarding the needs of her own health. Jay was the love of her life and they were married nearly 25 years. Mary Ann and Velma shared a special mother, daughter relationship, love and appreciation one for the other. This was in part due to the circumstances related to the death of her father, the late Raymond Lane Burke, a decorated career U.S. Army Officer, killed in action, Korea, March 1951. She was very pretty, petite, a true "Southern Bell" who was born at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, NC, grew up and lived most of her life in Atlanta, GA, graduating from The University of Georgia. The last sixteen years were spent working in the Washington, DC area and living in Ellicott City, MD with Jay and Velma. The family would like to give special thanks to the friends and neighbors of Mary Ann and Jay, especially Mr. and Mrs. Al Ingalls, Ellicott City, MD, for the visits, assistance, and errands made on her behalf, and the care shown to Mary Ann, Jay and "the babies". You folks were there when we were ten hours away and we can never thank you enough. Special love and thanks to Mary Ann's best friend from high school, Shirley Baugh, Chattanooga, TN for the many telephone calls, emails, friendship and love shown. We would also like to thank the many doctors, nurses and staff at John Hopkins, Howard County and Good Samaritan Hospitals; all the various social workers assigned to Mary Ann, nurses and staff at Genesis Health Care Homewood Center and Ellicott City Rehabilitation Acute Nursing Care. Mary Ann is survived by her husband Dr. John (Jay) W. Gowens, II, Ellicott City Nursing Facility, MD, Uncle John Benson & wife Jean Freeman, Monroe, NC, nephew, Eric Freeman, Surfside Beach, SC, half-Uncle Edwin and wife Ruth Freeman, Charlotte, NC. Cousins by birth, sisters and brothers by love, who are assisting with funeral services and serving as Honorary Pallbearers: Linda Whitley Arrington and family, (close as any sister and served as administrator/health care provider during the last year), William Matthew Arrington (for trips to MD, house cleaning and visits to hospitals) both of Concord, NC; Johnny and Brenda Whitley and family, (for all the long distance telephone conversations between Johnny and Mary Ann giving her words of encouragement, always the big brother). Thank you Brenda (for the trips to MD, house cleaning, visits to hospitals and love shown); Melisa Whitley Lovelace (serving as alternate administrator/health care provider); Paul and Vivian Whitley and family, all of Harrisburg, NC; Nonia Whitley and James Thomas Polk, Jr. and family, Mint Hill, NC; William Whitley, Jr. and family; Margie Whitley Blackwelder and family, both of Harrisburg, NC; Butch and Dottie Hargett, Charlotte, NC, for the great visit you two shared with Jay and Mary Ann in Maryland. What a wonderful time you all had together. Blessings to all those listed above who prayed, loved, supported and assisted financial. Graveside services and interment will be Saturday, December 7, 2013, 11:00 a.m. at Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery in Charlotte, NC. Arrangements by Witzke's Funeral Home, Columbia, MD and McEwen Funeral Services, Charlotte, NC. Mary Ann was born December 7, 1946 and will be buried on what would have been her 67th birthday. She will be greatly missed by those whose heart she touched and is re-united in Heaven with her parents Velma and Raymond Burke, Grandmother Burke, Helen and William Whitley (who raised Velma and who were like grandparents to Mary Ann), her Aunt Jean, Uncle Kay and other family member who have passed over and her beloved "four legged special babies" each were like her child. God bless and keep you; may you find peace in this earthly final resting place until we meet again! Love to you always from your family.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 6, 2013
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