Helen Carol Allen Burch, 89, affectionately known as “Ma Burch” passed away at her home on Owens Farm Road in Yulee, Florida on August 15, 2020.
Ma Burch was born on January 26, 1931 in Fernandina Beach, FL, where she was raised and graduated in 1948 from Fernandina Beach High School with honors. Ma was the first teenager to complete the Girls In Action WMU program at First Baptist Church Fernandina Beach. On January 16, 1950, she married John L. Burch Sr. from Folkston, GA. They have two sons, John Layton Burch, Jr. and Robert “Bubba” Burch, and they lived in Fernandina Beach until moving to Yulee in 1962.
She was employed by Terminal Bag for 13 years. In 1969, she was hired by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the first woman inspector, where she worked for 27 years until retiring in 1996.
Ma Burch was an iconic, memorable individual. She lived a productive, full life as a proud mother, unconditional wife and loving grandmother to anyone who knew her. She enjoyed fishing, hunting, crocheting, cooking, rooting for the Gators, growing gardens, canning vegetables, tending the farm animals, visiting the North GA mountains, gem mining, collecting artifacts, watching westerns and Fox News, following Nascar, donating to many various charities, telling stories, shopping at Belk on Senior Tuesdays, reading novels, and doing daily bible devotions. Ma was a Breast Cancer Survivor of 32 years.
She was survived by son Bubba Burch and wife Teresa, Grandson Rusty Burch and wife Jacque, Granddaughters Abigail Burch, Amy Kight and husband Shawn, Jennifer Pikula and husband Kyle, Jaclyn Brown and Jordan Brown. Great grandchildren: Landon and Emerson Kight; Dax, Layla, Monroe Burch; Jayleigh and Ryver Burch, Cameron, Vance, and Nash Shiver; Asher Bryant, Colby Pikula and Hailey Miner; sister Kathleen Allen Jennings; granddaughter-in-love Keelin McKeon; her best friend, Pat Claxton; and multiple nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents Hazel and Augustus Allen, her husband of 54 years John L. Burch, Sr., her son John L. Burch, Jr., her sister Linda Allen Waller, and her brothers Robert “Bobby” Allen and Vernon Allen.
Pallbearers included: Rusty Burch, Shawn Kight, Landon Kight, Bob McKeon, Kyle Pikula, and Jerry Cooner. Honorary pallbearers included: David Fachko, Lemuel Cooner, Huey Cooner, Marvin Cooner, Tim Buffkin, and Clifford Evans.
Viewing and Celebration of Life service will be held Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Laytn’s Land-N Barn on Owens Farm Road, Yulee, FL.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Nassau County Council on Aging at www.nassaucountycouncilonaging.com