The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Lebanon Baptist Church, 403 Botsford Road, Plains, Georgia. Rev. Hosie Waters, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow at the New Hope A.M.E. Church Cemetery, Smithville, Georgia.
Ms. Lelia Marie Burney, the daughter of the late Mr. Robert Burney, Sr., the late Mrs. Emma Tyson Burney, the late Mr. Rodolph Edwards, Sr. and Mrs. Martha Edwards, was born on July 2, 1943 in Smithville, Georgia. She attended the public schools of Lee County in Leesburg, Georgia and graduated from Lee County Training School in the class of 1961. She furthered her education by attending Albany State College in Albany, Georgia. After completing two years at Albany State College, she moved to Miami, Florida where she finished her post-secondary education.
After returning to Smithville in 1970, Marie accepted positions at Lee County Manufacturing Company in Leesburg, Georgia as a Line Supervisor from 1970 – 1994 and at Woodgrain Millworks in Americus, Georgia as a Supervisor from 1995 – 2009, when she retired.
Marie knew that as she traveled life’s journey she would face numerous obstacles, trials, and tribulations; therefore, she confessed Jesus Christ as her personal savior and joined the Green Grove Baptist Church in Smithville, Georgia and was baptized by the late Reverend Daniel Thomas. After joining the church, she was extremely dutiful in her service. She served on the Ushers’ Ministry, Mission Ministry, and as a Vacation Bible School Staff member.
On Friday, March 22, 2019, she received her wings as her soul left to be with her savior in her heavenly home.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers, Mr. Robert Burney, Jr., Mr. Charlie Burney, Mr. J. C. Burney, and Mr. Herschel Edwards; sisters, Ms. Vinice Burney and Ms. Cora Burney.
She leaves a legacy of love to her children, Mr. Allen Smoak, Jr., Gainesville, Georgia; Mr. Torrence Burney, Smithville, Georgia; Mrs. Tamika Burney Carter (Corey), Newport News, Virginia; stepmother, Mrs. Martha Edwards, Smithville, Georgia; brothers, Mr. Daniel Smith, Rochester, New York; Mr. Willie Frank Bell, Los Angeles, California; Mr. Walker Fred Dean, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mr. James Tilles (Mae Frances), Decatur, Georgia; Mr. Ricky J. Myrick (Theresa), Mr. Morris Paul Edwards (Jackie), Mr. Rodolph Edwards, Smithville, Georgia; sisters, Mrs. Gracie Yelverton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ms. Connie Burney, Rochester, New York; Ms. Yvonnia Munns, Smithville, Georgia; Ms. Brenda J. Edwards, Fairburn, Georgia; Ms. Shirley Edwards, Leesburg, Georgia; uncle, Mr. Walter Edwards (Anna), Smithville, Georgia; grandchildren, Lavonda Holley, Allen Smoak, III, Allen J. Smoak, Ralphael Smoak, Kendrick J. Burney, Shadrika Burney, Jamaal Loud, Shakeria Ananda Burney, Kirsten Emma Nicole Burney, Devante’ La’Quon Carter, Koriana Mone’ Carter, Na’Lani Mahri Carter; great-grandchildren, Keyera Latia Holley, Keyasia Lamia Holley, Jaz’myne Danielle Green, Sahria Janay Grogans, Alauana Nicole Smoak, Jamaal Loud, Jr., Devante’ Michael Carter, and Deshaun La’Quon Carter, and Ralpheal Rashad Smoak, Jr.
Additional survivors include a plethora of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, her Pastor and First Lady Reverend and Mrs. Hosie Waters, and her Green Grove Baptist Church family.