Lucille Abbie Williamson Burdette, age 95, of Osage, died Saturday, May 10, 2014, at Faith Home in Osage.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2014, at the Osage Alliance Church in Osage with Pastor Dave Byrd officiating. Burial will be in the Osage Cemetery. Visitation will be an hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorial gifts may be given to the Osage Alliance Church.
Lucille cherished 95 years with God’s blessings in her life by ministering and caring for those around her. She knew that every day of her life fulfilled God’s plan for her at a particular time.
Lucille was born on a farm near Shell Rock in Butler County to Roy Thomas and Abbie Dessie (Scarrow) Williamson on April 18, 1919. The family moved to a Plymouth farm for eight years and then settled on a farm east of Otranto when she was ten years old. Lucille graduated from Otranto High School (1938), from the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota (1942) with a scholarship for further studies from the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science, with distinction, in Public Health Nursing (1944). In 1957, she completed training as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lucille also studied at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, correspondence and evening school, and graduated from day school with Bible-Missionary majors in 1947. She also completed correspondence courses from Christian Writer’s Institute in Chicago. After completing nursing, she worked in surgery in Rochester. While a university student, she worked part-time at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in obstetrics. From 1944-46, she held a job at the Chicago Maternity Center working with doctors and medical students, delivering babies in poor homes of the city. At Moody, she was a student health service nurse.
Lucille came to faith in Christ at the age of 12, and at age 14 became a member of the Otranto Community Church.
In 1947, Lucille was accepted as a missionary to Nigeria, West Africa, by SIM (Sudan Interior Mission), now known as the Society of International Ministries. She sailed to Africa in early 1948 and served the Lord there for five terms, working with leprosy patients for five years and then in hospital surgery and anesthesia, as well as in outpatient’s clinic.
Other ministries included: teaching evening Bible School, superintending an open-air Sunday School with several hundred children in a police barracks, as captain of a Girl’s Brigade Company with 150 girls learning Bible and useful homemaking skills. She wrote for publication about Nigerian Christians and missionaries with 40 published stories, taught in a school training young Nigerians to staff clinics in isolated areas, and helped train two Nigerian nurses in anesthesia.
On returning to the U.S. in 1970, Lucille found it necessary to remain near her aging mother. On August 21, 1971, she was married to Forrest Maynard Burdette. They were caregivers for his father and Lucille’s mother. The couple enjoyed trips in the United States and into Mexico and Canada, and one to Israel, Egypt and Jordan. Lucille enjoyed reading, working puzzles, crocheting, sewing, crafts, rock hunting with her husband, setting the stones he cut and polished, and gardening. She won many ribbons at the county fair, including five purple ones.
Lucille served in the Osage Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (now known as the Osage Alliance Church), of which she has been a member since 1971, as Sunday School teacher, chairman of Christian Education Committee, Hospitality Committee, Home Department, chairman of a mission’s group, deaconess, and going to camp as the nurse, missionary speaker, and counselor. In recent years, Lucille continued to be active in her church, Sunday School, and prayer groups. She started the church prayer chain and worked in the Alliance Women where she cut and rolled dozens of used sheets into bandages for a hospital in Africa.
Lucille is survived by special cousin, Shirley Snell and her family, and a few other cousins; nephew, Stanley (Joni) Williamson and children, Kenneth and Michelle of Austin, Minnesota; nephew, Martin (Donna) Williamson and children, Deborah, Kimberly, Stacy and Megan of Alden; niece, Sandra Williamson of Austin, Minnesota; and many friends worldwide.
Lucille was preceded in death by her husband, Forrest in 2004; her father in 1960; her mother in 1979; and one brother, Kenneth in 1975.
Lucille will be welcomed home in Heaven from her years of service as we are taught in Matthew 19:29 which states: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”
Information available and condolences accepted at www.champion-bucheitfuneralhome.com – Champion – Bucheit Funeral Home, Osage (641)732-3706.