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Mary Frances Burgess


Mary Frances Gent Wilcox Burgess was born on December 19, 1946 to Ida Lee Edenfield and Issac Frank Gent in Lake City, Florida. She was always referred to as the “middle” sister of the Gent sisters. Many times over the years she said that she missed many Birthday Presents because of her birth date as people combined her Christmas and Birthday presents into one!

She graduated from Fernandina Beach High School in 1964 and started her Life’s Journey as the wife of Robert E. Wilcox, living in Florida, Louisiana and back to Florida where they had a bundle of joy, Robert E. Wilcox, Jr. (Robbie) in 1971. He in turn presented her with 3 Grandchildren, Coral Wilcox, Ciera Wilcox and Michael Wilcox. They will always have special memories of the time spent with “Nonie”.

Though her journey with Robert did not last, they remained friends for the rest of their lives. On through her journey she met E. C. Burgess, Jr. (Buddy) and they became soul mates and he became the love of her life. They met and made many wonderful and long lasting friends though-out their marriage and I am sure they are both happy being reunited.

In her Journey of Life she worked at different law firms in Jacksonville, Florida and Fernandina Beach, Florida. You may remember her from Buddy Jacob’s office on Atlantic Avenue and Burgess, Wood and Poole on Centre Street. Through the years she became a Certified Paralegal and learned as much as she could from the Attorney’s that she worked for and was considered an asset and friend to all of them.

She made many friends whom she cherished over the years and who were by her side almost every day for the past few weeks. The family blesses and thanks Pat Jasinsky, for being a special friend and being by her side constantly. Their friendship spanned 40 years and were there for each other through thick and thin. Another special friend was Sherry Sutton and the family thanks and blesses her for the way she was by her side and took care of her for the past few weeks, allowing her to die at home, something we could not have done without her help.

The family also thanks the many friends who stopped by, brought food and sit with her during the last weeks. She enjoyed each and everyone and the “stroll down memory lane” they brought with them.

She enjoyed the many committees she served on, quilting, puttering around in her flowers and the Florida Gator games she and Buddy attended over the years. She was an avid card player and loved to win. She loved to shop and find specials to give to the people she loved. She enjoyed life to the fullest with few regrets of things not done.

She leaves, besides Robbie and her grandchildren, the other 2 “Gent” sisters. Nancy Ann Gent Phillips of Ware Shoals, SC and Frankie Marie Gent Wright, Yulee, Florida. She leaves a brother, Joseph E. Tyson (Dee), Gray Court, SC and another sister, Susan Tyson McKenney (John), Yulee, Florida. She was predeceased by a Step- Brother Aubrey Tyson. She leaves behind several nieces and nephews that will remember her kindness and many words of wisdom. She leaves one Aunt, Faye Drew, and many other cousins that will remember her with fond memories.

The Family will have a Celebration of her life at the First Baptist Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida, where she has been a member for a number of years and served on numerous committees, on Saturday April 24th, 2021 with visitation with Family and Friends from 10am until time of service at 11am, a dinner will follow after the service for Family and Friends prepared by the Bereavement Committee of First Baptist Church of which she was a long time member, Interment in Bosque Bello Cemetery for family only will follow after the dinner. Masks are requested along with social distancing.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in her honor with Micah’s Place, a special charity of hers, Nassau County Humane Society or the charity of your choice.


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