Lassie Faye Burke-Harden was born on
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August 18, 1940, in Statesboro, a town in Bulloch
County, Georgia. Lassie Faye’s parents were Mr.
Willie Burke and Mrs. Lassie Burke. She had many
siblings whom she loved dearly: brothers, William
Roosevelt Burke, Leon Burke (Phyllis), and William
D. Burke (Rachel), and three sisters, Hattie Roberta
Thomas (James), Neppie Luverta Boyd (Charles),
and Bettye Jean Morgan (Billie).
As a youngster, Lassie Faye enjoyed school and learning. She was very
active in school, participating in many school clubs and extracurricular
activities; she even played on the girl’s basketball team at William James
High School in Statesboro, Georgia, from which she also received her
high school diploma.
After high school, Lassie Faye went on to college at Tuskegee University
in Alabama, where she graduated with a degree in education. After
receiving her education, Lassie married her longtime love, Johnie J.
Harden in 1962, and they were blessed with two wonderful children:
a daughter, Cathy, and a son, Johnnie. While her family life was
blossoming, so was her career. Lassie put her degree to good use and went
to work for the Broward County public school system as an educator in
South Florida for many decades until her retirement.
Two fun and notable facts about Lassie are that she had the largest Girl
Scout troop in the entirety of South Florida, and she was also lovingly
referred to as “Big Ma” by her grandchildren. Her love of family and
education, and passion for the enrichment of young minds are a legacy
that will continue to live on.
Lassie Faye Burke-Harden is survived by her husband, Johnie J. Harden,
and two children, Cathy Harden-Adams (Rickey) and Johnnie Harden
(Annette); her siblings, Neppie Luverta Boyd (Charles), Bettye Jean
Morgan (Billie), and William D. Burke (Rachel); as well as a host of
grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Lassie’s memory will live on
through her loved ones.
Now a token of love, written by Lassie’s beloved husband:
“To my high school sweetheart and wife of 58 years, you
were the perfect blend of every joy without an end, of every
song, and every place where I belong. I’ll meet you in Heaven.
-Love, Johnie J. Harden