Sister Mary L. Burnett was born October 1, 1922 to the late Bessie (Rissu Moore) Zimmons and Leonidus Bradley in Bienville Parish (Danville), Louisiana. She was raised in Jackson Parish, on the farm of her grandparents, the late Horace and Esther Potts. She attended the local rural church school in Jackson Parish and finished all of the grades that were offered at the time. She became an avid reader, a trait that she maintained throughout her life.
During World War II she left Jackson Parish and migrated to Oakland, California where she worked at the naval base there until the war ended. She returned to Louisiana in 1946 and settled in Tallulah where her mother, Bessie Zimmons was in residence at the time. She became the proud mother or three sons, Tyrone B. Bradley, the late John L. Kendrick and Russell D. Bradley. She worked as a cook and did domestic work for over sixty years before finally retiring at the age of eighty-five. During her later years she also served as a poll worker for the City of Tallulah and Madison Parish.
She joined the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in the early 1950’s and was a member of the Usher Board and served as its president. At the age of 94 she became physically unable to usher or attend church services but was always there in spirit. She was known as a charitable and loving member of the community and was especially fond of children. She kept candy and chips available when they would stop by with the only requirement of them was to be mannerable. Her home was always open to family, friends, both local or from out of town, or whomever would stop by. She was affectionately known as “Ms. Mary” or “Ms. Mary Lee” in the community.
Sadly, in the early morning hours of February 22, 2020, she was called home to be with the Lord. Although she is gone, in her ninety-seven years here on this earth, God has allowed her to leave a tremendous legacy of devotion to her family, her church and of community service.
Sister Burnett leaves behind to cherish her memories, two sons; Tyrone B. (Brenda) Bradley and Russell D. Bradley. She was preceded in death by one son, John L. (Alma) Kendrick; six grandchildren, LaShonda (Orlando) Hawkins, Nicole Bradley, Monique Clark, Russell D. Bradley, II, Denise A. Phillips and Mary Bradley-Moncure; fifteen great-grandchildren, LaCandice Farmer, LeKeisha Farmer, Shamauri Hawkins, Amauri Hawkins, Orlando Hawkins, Kamryn Olds, Bryson Olds, Madison Olds, David Philips, Quincy Irvin, Jr., Ayana Irvin, Kierra Irvin, Madelyn Moncure, Jayron Moncure and Ivy Bradley; three great-great- grandchildren, Londyn Sims, Jayce Clark and Aloni Ellis Jones. She also had an extended family as well; Fannie Mae Hawkins, Veronica Kendrick, Melvin Kendrick Nelda Carter (and children), Gloria Watkins (and family) Mary Gilmore; and many other relatives and friends.
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