Elizabeth “Boots” W. Burfoot
Elizabeth “Boots” W. Burfoot was born December 29, 1923 in Roanoke, Virginia to Walter and Susan Wilson. Both parents predeceased her as did 6 of 7 siblings, husband, Charles “Charley” Burfoot, daughter, Elizabeth “Bette” Keeling, and grandson, Kyle Mead.
Boots graduated high school at 16, attended William and Mary College for 2 years, transferring to the University of Virginia to complete her studies. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in English Education and a post-doctoral Chemistry Fellowship at 20. It is so interesting as UVA was not co-ed until 1976, so her only degree options were as a nurse or a teacher. Yet in the 40’s most of the men were engaged in WWII, thus an opening existed in the Chemistry lab. The renowned UVA Chemistry Professor, Dr. Berger, offered Boots the Chemistry Fellowship, calling her “brilliant.” His only remorse-lipstick would be on the pipets in his lab.
Boots went to work for Virginia Chemicals in Richmond, Virginia following graduation. She served as the National Secretary of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
At 29, Boots married Charles “Charley” Burfoot. They moved to Texas where she humbly and selflessly dedicated her life to her family, church and volunteer activities. Flowers, music, and people interested her. She loved playing games with her family and friends and was considered a Master at Bridge. They moved to Homer, LA in 1970.
Boots lived in Dhaka Bangladesh for 3 years in the early 1980s while Charley, an electrical engineer, built the electrical infrastructure there. Boots volunteered for the Widow’s Friend, which continues making a tremendous impact in one of the poorest and most populated nations on earth. The ministry supports widows to produce beautiful embroidered silks which are cherished across America, has two medical clinics, an orphan’s home, a hostel for girls and a high school for the deaf.
Boots and Charley moved to Rusk, TX after returning from Bangladesh. She helped establish The Good Samaritan, volunteered as a Pink Lady at the hospital, crocheted over 200 baby blankets for the hospital nursery, was a Rusk “Citizen of the Year,” and delivered Meals on Wheels in her 80s in Rusk, Texas for “the old folks.” She truly was young at heart.
Boots is survived by her children, Charles “Chuck” Burfoot (Amanda), Susan “Sudi” Mead (Holt) and Margaret Aycock (David) and grandchildren, Matt Mead (Lyndsey), Libby Burfoot, Emma Folsom (Ben), Kenneth Aycock (Tessa), Kathryn Keeling and Bobby Keeling and many extended family members.
A visitation will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 618 N 2nd Street, Homer, LA 71040 from 11 am – noon followed by the Memorial Service at noon on Saturday, November 17. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, consider donating in memory of Boots Burfoot to The Widow’s Friend, PO Box 103, Forestdale, MA 02644, or to the charity of your choice.
Please support the Cherokeean Herald by subscribing today!