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Mrs. Billie Annette Brown Burnette, devoted daughter of the late Jesse Willard Brown and Ruby Cleo Helms Brown, went to be with her heavenly father unexpectedly at age 78 on November 4, 2022, at her home in Niceville, Florida. In addition to her parents, Billie was preceded in death by her husband, John Thomas (JT) Burnette, from Knoxville, TN. They married March 10, 1962, and he passed away on April 15,1999, at the age of 61.
Billie was born in Niceville, Florida, on November 19, 1943, and is survived by her two children: daughter Beth Allison Burnette Hagen (Chris), Brad Alan Burnette (Gerrianne), one sister, Audra Josephine (Jo) Nagel (Mel), and six treasured grandchildren: Laren Hagen, Brandon Burnette, Austin Burnette, Andrew Burnette, Claire Burnette, and Grace Burnette. In addition, she is survived by many loving nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Billie was happiest when she was surrounded by those she loved best. She loved feeding people and always looked forward to large gatherings of friends and family. She especially enjoyed playing cards, dominoes, and other games and took pride in connecting generations of her family. Over the past several years her dedication and devotion to her grandchildren was unwavering. She knew they hung the moon.
For many years she taught a Bible study class on Sunday for women and sponsored a teenage youth group. Many of those youth kept those fond ties into their adult years. Back in the 1970’s, Billie raised her hand and served as a volunteer to teach Vietnamese refugees international English classes. To her this was more than simply volunteering--she built friendships and took great pride in being able to help others.
Throughout her life Billie enjoyed music. Beginning in her school days she was always in a music group: school chorus, community chorus, the adult choir at church, and several other special music groups.
Billie loved the hobby of genealogy, traveling with her husband JT throughout the southeast doing research. After JT’s passing in 1999, Billie continued her research both at local libraries and on the internet. She was always happy to help a stranger make a family connection and provided information to libraries and publications on her genealogy research.
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at the First Baptist Church on Bayshore Drive in Niceville, Florida, where she was a member since 1953. Visitation will be held at the church at 10 o’clock, with the service to follow at 11am.
Billie will be laid to rest beside her husband at Rocky Memorial Cemetery in Niceville. McLaughlin Funeral Home will oversee arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Billie’s name to the Autism Spectrum on the Emerald Coast where she enjoyed volunteering her time with Brad and Gerianne, the organization’s leaders, in support of the young adults and adults on the autism spectrum. You can log online to the website at asecfl.com and click on “Donate.”
Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed at www.mclaughlintwincities.com