Charlotte Hunter Burgess Ussery, age 91, passed away July 28, 2021 after a brief illness. Daughter of Walter & Thelma Burgess and wife of A.B. Ussery, jr. she was a life-long public school teacher & 60 year member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (Burlington).
Charlotte was born May 6, 1930 in rural Halifax County, Virginia. Her family farmed tobacco, her father was Postmaster and the Burgesses' were integral members of Mercy Seat Presbyterian Church. A depression-era child, Charlotte learned the value of hard work and preferred the simplicity of a rural lifestyle. Charlotte earned business & teaching degrees from University of Virginia (Charlottesville) & Montreat Anderson College (Black Mountain, NC), where she helped care for the young children of the Reverend Billy Graham, a man she deeply admired.
Charlotte's first job was teaching business & commerce at Bethany High School (Reidsville, NC). As the girls' basketball team advisor, she was assigned to work alongside the "new, good-looking varsity basketball coach" from Weldon, NC. Her assignment worked out well… Miss Burgess and that handsome guy, A.B. "Buddy" Ussery, eventually married on June 6, 1958. Soon, the newlyweds were teachers at Walter Williams High School (Burlington, NC) where Charlotte taught typing & shorthand, until the arrival of their son Doug in 1959. Four years later, daughter Betsy was born. Once both children were school age, Charlotte joined the teaching staff at their school, Grove Park Elementary, where she taught reading for 20 years and formed many life-long friendships.
Once retired, Buddy, Charlotte, her sister Agnes & husband Clyde were the "Fab Four". Buddy chauffeured the van, Clyde journaled the expeditions & the 2 sisters perched in the back like "Miss Daisy" as they zig-zagged across the US & Canada many times, exploring every state, national park, historical site & presidential homestead along the way.… not to mention all weird landmarks & manmade oddities. Charlotte especially loved Lake Louise in Banff, Canada, Mississippi's Natchez Trace scenic drive & annual winter escapes to Florida's gulf shores.
Charlotte was the backbone of our family. Meals were home-cooked, our house always spotless and flowers overflowed from hanging baskets. Mom collected old bottles, arrowheads & shark teeth. Bird & hummingbird feeders were never empty and Birdseed-Thieving-Squirrels lived dangerously in Charlotte's neck of the woods. Naturally curious about nature & wildlife, 85 year old Charlotte was "surprised" when a black snake bit her as she measured him with a yardstick! She was a 'no nonsense' mom but had a great sense of humor; loved books & jigsaw puzzles. Her potato salad was at every family reunion; butter pecan ice cream & "GrandBuddy" beans reigned supreme; and nothing was finer than a sandwich of white bread, a homegrown tomato slice, salt, pepper & mayonnaise - served on a paper plate.
Betsy & Doug spent summers on Grandma Burgess's farm picking blackberries, exploring barns, forests & fields and at dusk, Terrace Drive kids played night tag & caught fireflies in the Ussery/Palsha backyard. Charlotte & Buddy excelled at being "GrandBuddy" & "Goddy" to their 5 grandchildren. Although "no spring chicken", Goddy participated in their lives, and each grandchild has memories of her holiday dinners, working puzzles together and beach trips to the Outer Banks & Ocean Isle Beach. And at age 90, Charlotte joyously became a "Great-Goddy" when her 1st great-grandchild was born!
To our beloved Goddy,… we raise a glass of sweet tea to you! Your countless tales about the "olden days" & recollections of Burgess family history will be recalled & retold for generations. You lived a long, full life & your journey is over. You'll be missed & may you rest in Eternal Peace.
Charlotte was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, A.B Ussery, jr. and survived by:
Son, Doug (Karen) of Graham, NC, and grandsons, Brantley, and Jason (Alicia) & great grandson Nathan.
Daughter, Betsy (Byron) of Raleigh, NC & grandchildren William, Ryan & Charlotte.
Sister Agnes Erwin of Lynchburg, VA & nephews, Walter, Edward, Robert & Michael.
No memorial service is planned. For those who wish, donations can be mailed to her beloved, 200 year old Burgess family church: Mercy Seat Presbyterian Church, 3068 Wooding Road, Sutherland, Va, 24594, in memory of Charlotte Burgess Ussery.
Published by TheTimesNews.com from Jul. 29 to Jul. 30, 2021.