Julie Elizabeth Burke McKendree, age 46, of Dawson, Georgia, passed away on October 2, 2021 after an excruciating, nearly lifelong battle with Type 1 (childhood) diabetes. A memorial service at Mount Hebron Baptist Church will be held at a later date.
Julie was born on October 29, 1974, in Cuthbert, Georgia. She was the daughter of R.B. Burke and Kitty Clyde Bass (Burke) Lofton, both of whom preceded her in death this year. Julie was the youngest granddaughter of E. Ralph Bass, Sr. & Pauline Baldwin Bass and William Thomas Burke & Jessie Trippe Burke – the baby on both sides of her family. She is survived by her husband, Bill McKendree; her older sister, Veronica Burke Humphrey (Michael) of Leaf, Georgia; adopted sister Jessica Anderson of Dawson, Georgia; and stepfather Shorty Lofton of Bronwood, Georgia. She helped with the raising of Bill’s children, whom she raised as her own children: Billy McKendree, Samantha Wigglesworth, and Kayla Blair. She is also survived by her grandchildren whom she cherished, her grandson, Nathan, who called her “Mae.”; granddaughters, Gabby, Skyler, Emily, and Paisley. Julie cherished her grandchildren and always said, “I never loved another person like that in my entire life.”
Julie was a beautiful, open-hearted human being with a love of life. Like her mother, she was a talkative extrovert who loved people and parties. She enjoyed fishing, crafting, baking, and decorating. She had an eye for color and was fearless in her creative endeavors. Additionally, Julie maintained expert level thrifting status. From an early age, she loved playing with cash registers, and owning her own thrift store was an unrealized dream. Like her sister, she had a penchant for rescuing animals; her little dog “Keeps” was most special to her heart.
Julie was part of the Randolph Southern School family. In her twenties, she dabbled in welding, sales, and floristry, but primarily made her living as a waitress and bartender in Albany, Macon, and Norcross. A remarkable childhood portrait of her by Larry Patrick of Heritage Photography was prominently displayed at Carr’s Steakhouse in Albany for years before, during, and after her work there. Her “Purple House” on Lee Street in Dawson was a favorite of photographer Brian Brown (vanishingsouthgeorgia.com). Mr. Brown also featured the folk Victorian in Shellman where Julie spent her adolescence.
Her special light shines on in the hearts of those who loved her.
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