Bessie Tillery Burkett

November 10, 1919 - January 30, 2019

11/10/1919 - 01/30/2019

Past Services

Saturday February 02, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie
205 NC Highway 42 W
Ahoskie, NC 27910
252-332-3122 | Directions
Sunday February 03, 2019
Following the service at Highland Memorial Gardens
US 13 South
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Sunday February 03, 2019
3:00 pm
St. John Baptist Church
1644 NC-461
Ahoskie, NC 27910
Additional Information:

Pastor Doug Van Niel officiating

AULANDER, NC – Bessie Tillery Burkett, age 99, passed away on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at the Vidant Roanoke Chowan Hospital of Ahoskie, NC.

Mrs. Burkett was born on November 10, 1919 to Samuel and Susan Tillery in Bertie County, NC. Bessie was married to the love of her life, Merrick on January 14, 1937. They were married for 52 years before his passing in 1989 and to this marriage was born eight children. Family was the most important thing in life to Mrs. Bessie. She was the most loving person in the world, loving everyone. Bessie enjoyed her flowers, her church, her church family, and cooking. Her family loved to gather for holidays to enjoy her collards and butter beans. Bessie was a mother to all and was known as Grandma Burkett and “Granny B” to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by all that knew her.


Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Merrick Singleton Burkett, a son, James Colbert “JC” Burkett, and five siblings; David Tillery, Daisy Morris, Annie Cooke, Clara Burkett, and Eppie Tillery.

Bessie is survived by four daughters, Marie Hembree and husband Allen of Hendersonville, NC, Virgia Nichols and husband Jesse of Ahoskie, NC, Brenda Guill  and husband Carlton of Aloha, OR, and Janice Wagal of Ahoskie, NC; three sons, Wayne Burkett and wife Julia of Aulander, NC, Richard Burkett and wife Jean of Colerain, NC, and Ray Burkett and wife Gail of Ahoskie, NC; daughter in law, Jackie Burkett of Moyock, NC; twenty-five grandchildren; Linda, Dottie, Debbie, Guy, Drew, Scottie, Becky, Scott, Beverly, Michael, Brenda, Wanda, Karla, Rich, Donny, Wesley, Carey, Michael, Belinda, Glenda, Victor, Ashley, Deborah, Frankie, and Andrew; and 80 great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm at Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service, Ahoskie, NC and other times at the home.

A celebration of life funeral service will be held Sunday, February 3, 2019, at 3:00 pm at the St. John’s Baptist Church, Ahoskie, NC, with Pastor Doug Van Niel, officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie, NC 27910

Memorial contributions may be made directly to the St John’s Baptist Church, 1644 NC Highway 461, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or by clicking here.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Burkett family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting

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Charles W Overton
4 years ago

Wayne- Patsy and I were sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. We send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Charles and Patsy Overton

Carlyle Hoggard
4 years ago

Vergia and Family, My heart goes out to you all. I lost my Mama in August and it was and still is the hardest thing in my life on me. With Gods grace and love may you and your family find peace in your heart. I am very sorry for your loss.

Woody & Phylis Copeland
4 years ago

There are no words to describe how heavy our hearts are for this wonderful family. We can be at peace knowing she is with our Lord and Savior in her permanent home. As I viewed her tonight, she was absolutely beautiful with the peace and love shining on her face. ( The peace of Jesus) It doesn’t get any better than that. Love and hugs

Heidi Jenkins
4 years ago

I will always remember the love granma Burkett showed to me by making me believe “I was one of hers”. She will be missed. I am honored to have know such a great lady. My sincere condolences to her family. Many prayers for the days ahead. Love yall!

Brenda Knight
4 years ago

While I didn’t know Miss Bessie, I’ve heard many wonderful things about her & believe she had a wonderful life & was an amazing lady & loved by many. I know she will be sorely missed.

Obed Brabble
4 years ago

Praying for all of the family may God bless the whole family. They were truly blessed to have her for 99 years

Debbie Newsome Joyner
4 years ago

My memories of Miss Bessie are filled with love and laughter. There was just nobody like her. She looked at everyone with kindness and acceptance. As many times as I’m sure we disappointed her, she never held it against you. A TRUE CHRISTIAN LADY, and one I’ll never forget. The world would be a much better place to live if everyone were like Miss Bessie Burkett! I will miss her.

Jacquelyn Phelps
4 years ago

May your wings be gilted in gold, dear lady.

Elizabeth Keim
4 years ago

We are so sorry for your loss! Aunt Bessie and Uncle Merrick are having a glad reunion. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. We love you. Rebecca Jilcott and Elizabeth Keim.

Allen & Erlene Joyner
4 years ago

We will never forget that sweet smile. She always had that smile on her face no matter what. She is truly resting now and in no pain! Our prayers are with you all!