Emogene Burnum Jarvis Kirkland
COLQUITT - Mrs. Emogene Burnum Jarvis Kirkland of Camilla, formerly of Baker County, died Sunday, March 2, 2014 at Camilla Retirement Home. Graveside services will be Friday, March 7, 2014, at 2:00 PM at Live Oak Cemetery with Perry Hudson, Jr., Joe Lewis, Joseph Lewis, Tim Burch, Jarrell Burch, and Matthew Burch serving as pall bearers. Visitation will be Friday, March 7, 2014, from 1:00-2:00 PM at Live Oak Church.
Mrs. Kirkland was born on March 4, 1934, in Mitchell County, GA, to Wiley Oliver Burnum and Ruby Jane Bostick Burnum. She grw up in the Vade Community where she attended school. She graduated from Hopeful High School, and at the age of 16, she began attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. After that, she attended Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA, and she graduated from Valdosta State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She taught fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in the Baker County School System, the Clay County School System, and at Southwest Georgia Academy for a total of 47 years. Southwest Georgia Academy dedicated their yearbook to her one year, which made her feel very honored and humbled. At her retirement, Mrs. Kirkland expressed that her family, her friends, and teaching had made her life completely fullfilled, and that no profession was more rewarding than one that helps children learn.
On August 23, 1954, Emogene married the love of her life, S. Coplin Jarvis, of Baker County. They lived a wonderful life together on his ancestral family farm, and their union was blessed with one child, Rhonda. This happy union was shattered after only 21 years of marriage by her beloved Coplin’s tragic death on March 10, 1976.
Thirteen years later, Emogene married James Edgar Kirkland of Abbeville, AL, on July 3, 1990. She became a loving stepmother to two stepsons, and she and James lived happily in Abbeville until his death on February 20, 2005. She continued to live in Abbeville until her health forced her to leave in August of 2011 to reside in Camilla, GA.
Her four grandchildren were always a special source of joy for Mrs. Kirkland. She tried to attend all of their school and extra-curricular functions, just as she had done for her daughter years before. She was always their biggest cheerleader in whatever they were involved. She enjoyed cooking, reading, University of Georgia football, traveling, shopping, and spending time with her family. Most will recall that she was always dressed splendidly wherever she went, and she loved wearing beautiful clothes. She was a gentle and generous soul who enjoyed giving and showing her love to others by her kindness. Her family and friends will always cherish and treasure the memories they have of her, and they will miss her greatly. She was truly the epitome of a southern lady with inimitable grace and style.
She was a member of Live Oak Freewill Baptist Church, and a past member of The Georgia National Association of Educators and The National Educators Association.
She was predeceased by her parents, her two husbands, her sister and brother-in-law; Virginia Burnum Keeffe and Elmer C. Keeffe of Nashville, GA; brother-in-law James W. Nesbitt, of Albany, GA; and her grandson, Jarvis Malone Pate, of Albany, GA.
She is survived by one daughter, Rhonda Jarvis Pate (Billy) of Albany, GA; two stepsons, nd Michael Kirkland of Miami, FL, and New York City, and Frankie E. Kirkland (Jerusha) of Abbeville, AL; two granddaughters, Stephanie Pate Roberts (Rhett) of Milledgeville, GA, and Julie Pate Evans (Sam) of Atlanta, GA; one great grandson, Will Roberts of Milledgeville, GA; two step granddaughters, Katelyn P. Kirkland and Keeley M. Kirkland both of Abbeville, AL; and one sister-in-law, Faye Jarvis Nesbitt of Albany, GA. Special lifelong friends/family; Betty Bush, Lesonia Wingate (Cliff), Tami Lewis (Joe), Mia Williams (Marty), Charlie Burch (Martha Jane), Tim Burch (Lydia), Jarrell Burch (Celeice), and Ethel Mary Reed.
The family wishes to thank the great administrator, Shirley Rehberg, and the wonderful staff at The Camilla Retirement Village for the loving care and the kind concern they have given Mrs. Kirkland during her stay in their facility for the past few years.
Colquitt Funeral Home, Inc.