Early Saturday morning, February 20, 2021, the morning train stopped in Florence, South Carolina and Mother
Creola Butler Burgess stepped on board. She was a daughter of the late Reverend Eugene Butler, Sr. and the late
Lurlean Welch Butler. She was born May 21st, 1932 in Williamsburg County, South Carolina. She received her
formal education in the public schools of Florence County. She was an agricultural worker for over 55 years of her
life followed by serving as a caregiver. She spent most of her life caring for others, she helped to raise her three
younger siblings while her Mother worked, she cared for her husband, her eight children, three of her
grandchildren, and had a hand in raising a fourth grandchild. She worked to teach her children and grandchildren
all she could. Even from the nursing home she continued her teaching. If you came in with your hat on, your
pants hanging down, your hair unkempt she would let you know you needed to fix yourself up. She believed in
having standards and that started with how you presented yourself to others.
Her passion in life was helping those in need who crossed her path. She also loved children and didn’t want them
mistreated. She got great joy out of seeing children dressed neatly and appearing well cared for. She had a love for
flowers. Her porch and yard had flowers of many different colors and shapes; she loved to sit on the porch and
enjoy her flowers.
Mother Creola was a child of the King, a dedicated wife, and the best Mother God could have given any child. She
was a member of St. Mark Believers Holiness Church where she was a part of the Senior & Gospel Choir, a
member of the Pastor’s Aide Committee, and a Mother of the Church.
Mother Creola was preceded in death by her parents and her husband of 54 years, Bennie Burgess. She was also
preceded in death by four sisters Idelia Felder, Catherine Scott, Susanna McClam and Roberta Smith, three
brothers Eugene Butler Jr., Reverend Chester Butler and John L. Butler, two sons Levern Butler and Al T Burgess,
and one son in law Joseph Fleming, Jr.
She leaves to cherish her precious memory her children: William (Louise) Burgess of Timmonsville, S.C., Lenno
(Wanda) Burgess of Mullins, S.C., Alton Burgess of Winston-Salem, NC, Gloria Jean Fleming of Scranton, S.C.
Leon (Lillie) Burgess of Scranton, S.C., and Creola Lisa Burgess of Columbia, S.C. Four grandchildren that she
took as her own, Gloria Burgess-McKelvy of Scranton, S.C., Lenno D. Burgess, II of Lake City, S.C., Dr. Jonetha
M. Fleming of Columbia, S.C., and Joseph D. Fleming III (who was especially dear to her heart) of Florence, S.C.
Mother Creola also leaves behind a great grandchild, Journey Alaina Burgess who she loved deeply. In her final
days, Journey could make her laugh and smile. Mother Creola also leaves to cherish her memory a total of 15
grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. In addition to her children and
grandchildren she will be dearly missed by her brother, Rhett Butler of Bronx, N.Y., her sister, Elizabeth Simon of
Winston-Salem, N.C., her sisters in law Catherine Butler of Scranton, S.C., and Ida Mae Burgess (who was more
like a sister and best friend) of Olanta, S.C. She will also be missed by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends,
and community members.
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