Earlene Burney, 85, Clarksville, died Friday, November 13, 2020, at her home, lovingly surrounded by her children.
The family will have a private graveside service with a celebration of life at a later time. Burial will be in Salem Cemetery.
Earlene was born April 18, 1935, in Sharon, TN and was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, J F Burney; her parents, Clarence Earl and Annie Lamb Owen; brother, Donald Owen; sisters, Margaret Gordon and Carol Price; one grandchild, Christopher McWhorter, and her dear friend, Pat Strong.
Earlene received her Bachelors degree from the University of Alabama (in 1968) and her Masters degree plus 45 hours from Austin Peay State University.
For 26 years, Earlene was an elementary school teacher with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, primarily at Montgomery Central Elementary. Her teaching emphasis was on reading/exceptional children and she loved her time teaching Title I Reading where she was most able to demonstrate her patience and love for others.
After retiring, Earlene became an advocate for the elderly by volunteering as a lobbyist/speaker with AARP’s Nursing Home Reform and Choices of Care Campaign where she was very passionate about those suffering with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. She spoke before various legislative committees at the Tennessee General Assembly regarding elder care and the need for Home and Community Based Care for the elderly and disabled. She was also a speaker for Vanderbilt-Meharry’s Geriatric Education Center, as well as, speaking across the southeast at university conferences, international conventions, civic and community organizations, Alzheimer’s Association and support groups, church groups, nurses’ training schools, staff of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Earlene was also a proud member of the Clarksville Civitan Club and the former first lady of Civitan International. She was the Charter Queen Bee of the Razzle Dazzle Reds (Red Hat Society).
Survivors include sons, Mike (Aimee) Burney, Pleasant View, Steve Burney, Lebanon; daughters, Cheryl (Ron) Edmondson, Nashville, Laurie Burney, Waco, TX; grandchildren, Jacob (Laura) Burney, Makenzi (Laws) Nelson, Hunter (Kristen) Burney, Jeremy (Mary) Chandler, Josh McWhorter, Nate (Courtney) Edmondson, Matthew McWhorter; six great granddaughters; one expectant great grandson; as well as many loving nephews and nieces.
The Burneys loved their international friends whom are considered extended family - including the Chandramohans, Hiscotts, Kheradmands, and Storks.
Pallbearers will be Jacob Burney, Makenzi Burney, Hunter Burney, Jeremy Chandler, Josh McWhorter, Matthew McWhorter, and Marc Price.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the “Dr. J F and Earlene Burney Scholarship Fund” which provides a scholarship to an Austin Peay State University student. Donations may be mailed to the Care of Yvonne van der Touw, 859 Hartman Court, Adams, TN 37010.
Arrangements entrusted to Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home, 1510 Madison Street, Clarksville, TN 37040; (931) 645-6488. Online condolences may be made at www.nealtarpleyparchman.com.
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