Mary Margaret Watts Burris
Mary Margaret Watts Burris of Franklinton, Louisiana, passed away peacefully at the age of 99 on June 20, 2020 at her home. Born to the late W. L. and Gladys Saint Watts on October 6, 1920, Mary Margaret spent her childhood years in Hammond, LA, then moved to Summit, Mississippi, during her high school years and graduated in 1937 from Summit High School. She attended Southwest Mississippi Junior College in Summit for two years and graduated in 1941 from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA, later returning to Southeastern to earn her Masters Plus 30 degree. She married James W. Burris in 1947, had two sons, and they lived a full and wonderful life until his sudden and unexpected passing in 1964. Family was very important to her. After retiring from her teaching career, she worked for 20 years with her two sons in the retail jewelry business. She was also fortunate to live between her two sons and their families in rural Franklinton. Hers was a life guided by faith and trust in the Lord. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to many. She was truly selfless in her service to others and one had simply to be in her presence to feel loved. She had a gift for offering encouragement and praise, as evidenced by the multitude of handwritten notes she sent through the years.
In 1941, she became a member of Centenary United Methodist Church of Franklinton, and continued her life-long service to her Lord. She truly saw herself as the hands and feet of Christ in her service to others. She was a long-time teacher of the Searchers/Hallie Love Sunday School Class of which she always said they taught her far more than she taught them. She was also a devoted member of the United Methodist Women.
Mary Margaret Burris began and ended her teaching career at Franklinton High School, spending 32+ years teaching bookkeeping, typing, and business administration. As a teacher she touched many lives. She loved her students, and her students loved her. In the school setting, as in all areas of her life, she was a champion of those who were less fortunate or in need of a little TLC (tender loving care). In her professional life, she was a member of the Beta Rho Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, having served as past-president and numerous other offices and committees.
She is survived by her two children and spouses, Jimmy and Debbie Burris; Jesse and Renee Burris; four grandchildren, Ellen Burris DeCuir, Emily Burris Hester (Chris), Darrell Burris, and Katie Burris; great grandsons, Fletcher DeCuir and Hayden Hester; and great-granddaughters, Lillie Grace DeCuir and Avery Hester. She is also survived by one brother, C. A. Watts of Decatur, IL, and two sisters-in-law, Dolores Watts of Bogalusa, LA and Edie Watts of Decatur, IL, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Other than her parents and husband James, she was preceded in death by her grandson, Kyle Burris for whom she often served as personal chauffeur; brothers, Walt Watts (Frances), James M. Watts, and Charles Howard Watts; sisters, Jane Bollinger (Joe), and Marion Hancock (Stanley); and sister-in-law, Rose Watts.
Services will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Friday, June 26, 2020, with visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. conducted by Rev. Brian Ridgedell. Should friends wish to make memorial contributions they may be sent to Centenary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 306, Franklinton, LA 70438.