Alice Katherine Burke O’Quinn

Alice Katherine Burke O’Quinn

November 17, 1937 ~ May 04, 2024

Date of Service:
May 10, 2024

Date of Viewing:
May 10, 2024

Date of Interment:
May 10, 2024

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I Want You to Meet My Mom-

I know that most people consider their mom to be the best, and I am sure that they are pretty awesome moms, but I am absolutely certain that my mom is actually the best mom in the world.  She excelled at being a mom, a wife, an educator, and a Christian.

My mom was born on November 17, 1937, in Auburndale FL to George Washington Burke and Aurwilla Kiger Burke.  My mom has always been beautiful, and while I have not seen a picture of her as a baby, I can only imagine how cute she must have been, after all she turned out to be the most beautiful person I have ever seen.  I am not sure when mom accepted Christ as her Savior, but I know it was early in life. Mom said she began praying at a very young age that one day she would meet a nice Christian man to marry… but I will get to that part of the story in a little bit.

Mom would tell me that she was not that good at writing but was always pretty good at math.  Then one day she told me that while in high school, she had entered a statewide writing contest and won, so I guess she was good at writing as well as math.  The prize money was enough to pay for her first year of college at Carson Newman University in Tennessee.  Mom graduated with her bachelor’s degree, she majored in theology and minored in mathematics.  While this was a significant accomplishment for a woman during this time period, mom never bragged about what she achieved academically.  In addition, mom played basketball and golf while in college, she was an athlete as well.  Sometime during her college years, she was a youth counselor at a Christian summer camp.  This is where she met my dad, remember that nice Christian man she had been praying for.  Dad and mom wrote to each other, almost every day to hear daddy tell it, and eventually they got married and stayed married for 64 years, it would have been 65 years this year.  As a wife, my mom was also the best.  My mom loved my father unconditionally and was always a servant in Christ by my father’s side giving him support and showing him love throughout their marriage. Mom loved my dad so much and when my dad passed on 04.25.2024, even though she had end stage Alzheimer’s mom somehow knew he had passed and went to be with him in Heaven 10 days later on 05.04.2024.

Mom used her degree from Carson Newman College to be an educator and began her career as a teacher in Texas while my dad attended seminary school.  She continued to teach when they moved back to Florida at both private schools and public schools for nearly 3 decades.  Mom spent the last decade teaching at Sebastian River Middle School.  Twenty something years after she retired, I still run into her former students who tell me just how much she meant to them.  You see, my mom was a very special educator.  She went to school early everyday and stayed late every day.  I asked her once why she had to go in so early, none of my teachers went in that early.  She explained to me that a student might need her, and she wanted to be there. I found out later that mom knew some of her students came to school hungry, so she had several drawers of food in her classroom and went in early to make sure anyone that was hungry got food.  She would also give them food when they were leaving for the day, just in case. She loved every student she ever taught and made sure they knew it.

My mom was made a mom for the first time when she had my sister Joy.  She went on to have the rest of us not long after that. There are four of us kids, Joy, June, Joel, and Joan.  We grew up knowing that mom loved us, and nothing could ever change that.  Every time we EVER needed her, she was there, with whatever we needed.  She always knew what to say and do to make us feel better.  Whether it was a hug, a kind word, first aid for our boo boos, or anything else we ever needed.  Sometimes her beautiful smile is all we needed because it seemed to make everything better.  Through her actions and words, she taught us to be our best selves, after all she always was.  She never had a bad thing to say about anyone, she always showed kindness and concern to everyone, even when they were not kind to her.  I never saw her be anything but gracious and considerate.  From time to time, I will have people say to me that I am “such a nice person” my standard reply is not really; you should meet my mom. As the four of us grew up and began to have families of our own, my mom became a grandmother and as you can probably guess, my mom excelled at being a grandmother as well. It is hard for me to believe that with all the love she bestowed on the four of us, that she would have enough love leftover for her grandchildren, but she did.  The easiest way for me to explain it is that to be in her presence was to know that you were loved.

My mom was a Christian, and I know that she is in heaven now with daddy.  As previously mentioned, she accepted Jesus Christ at an early age.  She prayed for and married a Christian man who was a preacher.  She raised her four children in the church and taught us to serve the Lord. She served the Lord throughout her life in every part of her life, as a wife, as an educator, as a mom, and as a daughter.  She had a serving heart and took care of her grandmother, her mother and father, her mother-in-law and father-in-law, and her sister when they were toward the end of their lives.  She served at every church she went to and ministered to everyone she met when not at church.  She loved Christ, and through her love for Christ, she loved everyone, I mean everyone.

I am a pretty private person and very selective about the people I call friends, but when I do call a person a friend, one of the first things I will say to them is, I want you to meet my mom. Because I have always wanted them to feel the kind of love I have felt my entire life, it is an extraordinary feeling that comes from being the presence of the best mom in the world.

Thank you for taking the time to meet my mom from Joan O’Quinn Rivera

Alice is remembered by her family as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and faithful servant of Christ. Alice was preceded in death by her husband Robert and survived by their children Joy Wood, June Mathews, Joel O’Quinn, and Joan Rivera, and her grandchildren Gary Brewer, Amanda Goodhue, James Wood, III, Edward Gentgen II, Joshua Wood, Christopher Covert, Jacob Wood, and six great grandchildren.

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.


Date of Service:
May 10, 2024

Date of Viewing:
May 10, 2024

Date of Interment:
May 10, 2024

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Condolence

Sheryl A Walker

May 10, 2024, 11:45 pm

I didn’t know your Mother, but just read your lovely words. You were indeed blessed with a wonderful Mother, and I believe she felt equally blessed. I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I can’t imagine losing both parents that close together. May God Bless.

Janet Santos - Friend

May 26, 2024, 2:51 am

I had the privilege of working with Alice at SRMS. She was a great friend and a great teacher. She was crafty and taught me how to make a corsage out of baby socks! She was a beautiful person inside and out, a true Christian. So thankful to have known her.

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