Mrs. Margaret Denham England Burks, age 99, of Flowery Branch passed away Tuesday, May 20, 2014, after a lengthy illness.
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Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday, May 23, 2014, at First Baptist Church of Flowery Branch, 5106 Spring St., Flowery Branch, A 30542, with private interment at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. The family will receive friends 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, 2014, at Memorial Park South Funeral Home.
Margaret was born in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 28, 1914, to John Wyatt and Caroline Bird England and was educated in that city's public schools. Soon after her graduation from high school she took a civil service job with the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., and in 1936 transferred to the IRS office in Atlanta. Margaret passed the CPA exam in 1953 and was graduated magna cum laude from the Atlanta division of the University of Georgia in 1955.
In early 1957, at the age of 42, Margaret married Jesse A. Burks, a widower and father of a wonderful family of children and grandchildren. Margaret left her Presbyterian roots to become a Baptist, as Jesse desired. At their retirements, the Burks moved from Atlanta to the then-tiny Lake Lanier community of Flowery Branch where they became active members at First Baptist Church of Flowery Branch. Jesse died in 1985, not long after he and Margaret celebrated their 28th anniversary.
As a widow, Margaret began traveling widely, especially to various African nations. She took seminary courses through a local extension of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, studied on campus in the mid-1990s, and was graduated magna cum laude in 1996, at age 81, with a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry degree. She was appointed a missionary under the auspices of the Southern Baptist Convention and arrived in Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa in October 1996. She, with friends, established Mission Through Education (MTE) to support educational opportunities for children in Tanzania. Margaret and others built an elementary school there, which now bears her name.
Margaret was predeceased by her parents; two brothers, Alfred (Jack) and Edmund England; and two stepchildren, Ralph and Arnold Burks. She is survived by stepchildren, Elizabeth Burks Turlington (Edwin) of Atlanta and Dr. Robert E. Burks (Betty) of Clemson, S.C.; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and four nieces, Caroline England Connally (Ben) of Gadsden, Ala., Josephine England Redd (Uhland III) of Florence, Ala., Margaret England Armbrester (Rodger) of Birmingham, Ala., and Mary England Proctor (David III) of Nashville, Tenn. The family wishes to thank Margaret's amazing neighbors and friends for their attentive, generous and loving care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ministry Through Education for the Margaret Burks Academy-Tanzania, P.O. Box 1004, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, or to the
Memorial Park South Funeral Home, 4121 Falcon Parkway, Flowery Branch, GA 30542, is in charge of arrangements. Send online condolences to www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com.
Memorial Park South Funeral Home
4121 Falcon Parkway Flowery Branch, GA 30542
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on May 22, 2014