Shirley Jean Burgess

Shirley Jean Burgess (née Ambrosia) died peacefully on Aug. 11, 2020, in West Monroe, at the age of 81.

Shirley was born on May 14, 1939, in Youngstown, Ohio, to Angelo and Sylvia Ambrosia. She graduated with honors from East High School in 1957 and married Robert Lee Burgess on July 11, 1959 — and was excited to have just recently celebrated their 61st anniversary. They moved from Ohio to Michigan, and finally settled in West Monroe in 1976.

Shirley had a loving heart that served her community well. She taught St. Paschal’s CCD second graders for many years, for which she was awarded the Diocesan Service Medal. She played an integral part in starting Meals on Wheels for the parish and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary, and the St. Paschal’s Altar Society. A strong advocate for community growth, Shirley generously shared her talents for over 10 years with the local Family & Community Education (FCE) club. She especially enjoyed the aspects of the FCE that sought and awarded scholarship recipients and designed award-winning booths at the Ark-La-Miss Fair. And Shirley never missed an opportunity to enjoy her friends in the Red Hat Society and the local Line Dancers clubs.

Shirley was a devout Catholic and a devoted mother. Her children and grandchildren were her greatest joy, and she took pride in each of their successes.

Shirley is survived by her husband, Robert L. Burgess; children, Robin Hatten (Tommy), Shandell Burgess, Bryan Burgess (Jamie), and Darren Burgess; grandchildren, Christopher Hatten (Kristen), Sara Circolone (Nick), Meredith Burgess, and Hannah Burgess; and great-granddaughter, Lucy Hatten; sister, Nancy Casanta; and many nieces and nephews.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, and her sisters Joanne Simpson and Carol Terlecki.

Visitation was held at Mulhearn Funeral Home in West Monroe on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, from 5-7 p.m. A funeral mass was held at St. Paschal’s Catholic Church in West Monroe, on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, at 2 p.m. with Fr. Frank Coens officiating. Interment followed in St. Paschal’s Catholic Church Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Bryan and Darren Burgess, Tommy and Christopher Hatten, Freddy Jones, Debbie Parkman, Tim Sigur, and Nancy Wells.

Memorial donations can be made to St. Paschal’s Catholic Church.

Online condolences:

Gwendolyn Cannon

Mrs. Gwendolyn Cannon, 66, of Monroe, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Graveside services were at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe. Interment was at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe.

Glynn J. Davis

Mr. Glynn J. Davis, 71, of West Monroe, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, at Mulhearn Funeral Home, Monroe. Interment followed at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe.

Ella Louise Dudley

Funeral service for Ella Louise Dudley, 85, of West Monroe, was at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at the chapel of Griffin Funeral Home. Interment followed at Roselawn Memorial Gardens.

Marlene Estep

Funeral service for Marlene Estep, 91, of West Monroe, was at 10 a.m. Monday Aug. 17, 2020, at Harvest Assembly of God. Interment was at Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe. Visitation was from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at the church. Arrangements were under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of West Monroe.

Tommie Ford

Graveside services for Mr. Tommie Ford, 75, of West Monroe, were at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, at Cypress Baptist Church Cemetery in West Monroe, with Rev. Larry Eubanks officiating under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe.

Ella Gwendolyn Hesler

Ms. Ella Gwendolyn of West Monroe, passed from this life on Aug. 15, 2020. She was born on Jan. 30, 1954 to the parents of Allen and Lois Hester, who preceded her in death. Those left to cherish her memory are her children, Elizabeth Kadell, James Lawson, Emily Ewing, and sister Deborah Hesler of Shreveport. Arrangements are under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home.    

Ellen Mae Hamilton

Funeral services for Ellen Mae Hamilton, 82, of West Monroe were at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at Kilpatrick Funeral Home, West Monroe. Interment was at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Visitation was from 9 a.m. until service time at Kilpatrick Funeral Home.

Darla Ann Rawls Phillips

Ms. Darla Ann Rawls Phillps, 63, of Monroe, passed away, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Graveside services were at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, Monroe.

Sharon Ann Lanier Porter

Funeral services for Sharon Ann Lanier Porter, 73, of West Monroe, were at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, at Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Monroe, with Rev. Travis Bookout officiating. Interment was in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe.

Luther Allen Powell Sr.

Graveside services for Luther Allen Powell Sr., 70, of West Monroe, were at noon Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at The Northeast Louisiana Veterans’ Cemetery in Rayville, under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home.

Betty Lou Walker Shows

Mrs. Betty Lou Walker Shows, 79, of Monroe, passed away Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at Mulhearn Funeral Home, Monroe. Interment will follow at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe. Visitation was 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at Mulhearn Funeral Home.

Debra Cornelia Taylor

Debra Cornelia Taylor, 58, of Farmerville, passed away Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home, West Monroe.

James W. Whitaker

Funeral service for James W. Whitaker, 81 of West Monroe, were at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, at Apostolic Restoration Church. Interment was at Roselawn Memorial Gardens, under the direction of Griffin Funeral Home.

Gloria Wink

Gloria Wink, 77, of Point, passed away Aug. 17, 2020. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at Providence Baptist Church in Point, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, West Monroe.

Mary Magdalean Woods Young

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? — Psalm 27:1

On Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, the sweet spirit of Sister Mary Magdalean Woods Young, went to join the Savior in that home not built with hands, but whose maker and builder is God. Sister Mary Magdalean Woods Young was born March 1, 1929 to the late Malinda Woods Russell in Monroe, Louisiana.

Mag, as she was lovingly called, confessed Christ at an early age and was baptized at Jerusalem Baptist Church by the late Reverend John Housley. Upon moving to West Monroe, Louisiana she united with the New Daughters of Zion Baptist Church under the pastorage of the late Reverend Robert Stevens. She was a devout and dutiful member who remained faithful until death. She worked diligently in her church as a Sunday School Teacher for over 30 years, Choir Member, Youth Director, Sunday School Assistant Superintendent, Sunday School Superintendent, Church Financial Secretary, Vacation Bible School Director, Program Committee, Hospitality Committee, Mission Ministry and Mother Ministry where she served as President. The youth will always remember her as the director of the cherub choir.

Sister Young became a member of Look to the East Order of Eastern Star #87 of Calhoun, Louisiana on March 11, 1995 and served as Star Point Electa and secretary.

Mag recognized early in life the importance of an education. Her elementary education began at Britton Rosenwall School in Calhoun, Louisiana. Her secondary education began at Tim Tippet in West Monroe, Louisiana and she received her high school diploma from Monroe Colored High School on May 30, 1946. She furthered her studies at Grambling College where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education on May 29, 1950. Being the shrewd student that she was, after 25 years she returned back to Grambling State University where she received a Masters of Science Degree in Guidance Counseling on July 29, 1977.

Mag’s teaching career led her to Rolling Fork, Mississippi, Chicago, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After teaching out of state for 10 years she returned home and was gainfully employed by the Ouachita Parish School System. She taught at Boley and Claiborne Elementary Schools. She was one of two first black teachers to integrate Claiborne Elementary. She retired in May 1986 after 33 ½ years of service.

Mrs. Young touched many lives during her teaching career. She was a dynamic warrior in many aspects of life. After retirement she was recruited by the late Deacon Ted Richards, Sr. to become a member of the Twin City Community Welfare Board. She worked diligently with this organization until her health failed. In paving it forward she recruited the late Mrs. Carrie Taylor to replace her on the board. She loved traveling, cooking family holiday dinners, attending Grambling State University football games, especially homecomings, the Annual Bayou Classic and attending church functions.

On Aug. 25, 1960 she married the late Milton Young. To this union three children were born.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 27 years Milton Young; mother, Malinda Woods Russell; father, Robert “Duke” Russell; sister, Dolores Rae Russell; nephew, Glenn Russell; stepson, Andre Sanford, granddaughter, Melinda Young and great nephew Mathius Russell.

She leaves to cherish and celebrate her memory, two loving daughters: Rhonda Woods Harris, Renton, Washington and Miranda Young, West Monroe, Louisiana, one son: Michael Young Dallas, Texas: daughter-in-law Susan Harris Young, Dallas, Texas; one sister, Shirley Russell, Monroe, LA; three brothers: Franklin Russell and Rodney Russell, Seattle, WA; Robert Edward Russell, West Monroe, LA, one sister-in-law Lelia Gilkey, Mt. House, CA; three grandchildren: Karinda Harris, Kent WA; Marlon and Maurice Young, Dallas, TX; five stepgrand children; one stepson: Randall Moon, Boston, Massachusetts; Godsons: Shelton Spivey, Jr., Thomas Newton and Corburt Chisley; one Goddaughter: Linda Person Young; Special Friends: Frank Myles, Mackie Freeze, Cordelia Pope Sims, Bessie Mae Anderson Thedford , Beverly Barnes Williams, Shirley Turner Jackson and Patsy Jackson O’Neal. Special first cousin, Jessie Mae Woods Bell, Las Vegas, NV: and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and friends.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, at 11:00 A.M. at Miller Funeral Home Chapel in Monroe, LA. visitation is Friday, August 21, 2020, from 1-6 P.M. at the funeral home.

Online condolences:

Interment: Parkertown Cemetery, Calhoun, Louisiana.


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