Remembering Charlene Aurora Burks Vail

Charlene Aurora Burks Vail

Funeral services for Mrs. Charlene Aurora Burks Vail, age 89 of Ruston, LA were held Sunday, January 15, 2023 at Hodge Assembly of God Church in Quitman, LA with Rev. Geary Phillips and Rev. Elton Gunter officiating. Burial followed in the Jonesboro Cemetery in Jonesboro, LA under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston. 

Charlene Vail, our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, was born June 4, 1933 and went to her “New Home” with the Lord January 13, 2023 at The Arbor Assisted Living Home in Ruston. The Arbor became her home in 2016, and she loved her life there and developed a large host of friends. She was, for most of her life, a resident of Jonesboro LA, and she was a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School. Charlene married James “Cotton” Vail in 1953, and they made Jonesboro their home for most of their lives and made Jonesboro where they raised their three children. She was employed by the Advance Shopping Center in the early 50’s working in the fabric department and eventually working as a machine operator in the bag plant at the Continental Can Paper Mill in Hodge. She worked at that job for a short time until her supervisors learned of her clerical and secretarial skills. They quickly moved her into Sales-Service, and her career “took off”!  After working in that job at the mill for just a few years, she was moved to the Continental Woodlands Division office and became a top-level secretary in wood procurement. It was there that she excelled with her typing, dictation and shorthand skills. She became the first person that you would meet and be greeted by when you walked in the front door. Her bosses always spoke highly of her and depended on her, and her work always met the highest professional standards. Along with being the best at her work, she was even better at being a mother and a three-level grandmother. The other thing at which she was exceptional, and the most important to her in her life, was being a true Servant of God! She accepted Christ as her Savior at a very young age and did her best to live her life before her family, her co-workers and all she met in a way that was pleasing to God. We, as a family, believe that she did that job extremely well. Charlene and James were members of Hodge Assembly of God Church. She was preceded in death by her parents T.C. and Erma Burks; husband Cotton; daughter Suzanne Vail; and great-granddaughter Brianna Newman. 

She is survived by two sons: Ronnie Vail (Martha) of Ruston and Jimmy Vail (Janice) of Winnfield, LA; sister Judy Burks Brown (David); grandchildren: Matt Vail (Teri) of Quitman, LA, Jana Myatt (Heath) of Magnolia, TX, and Lance Ledford (Amanda) of Jonesboro; 8 great-grandchildren: Paige, Cami, Scotty, Chance, Hollin, Cambrie, Jacie, Leelee; great-great grandson Camden James (C.J.); nine nieces and nephews who all loved their “Aunt Charlene”; and a host of family and friends.

Serving as pallbearers were Matt Vail, Chance Vail, Lance Ledford, Heath Myatt, Alton Smith and David Brown.

The family would like to express our appreciation to The Arbor assisted living home of Ruston, Ms. Muriel Ryder, administrators and the entire staff there who have cared for, attended to and loved our mother for the last seven years.  We also want to thank Dr. Holly Kidd for her love, care and dedicated attention to our mother.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Charlene’s name to Hodge Assembly of God Church in Hodge.

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