Vesta Lee Burroughs

December 11, 2020
Vesta Lee Burroughs


Vesta Lee Burroughs

Born October 12, 1940, to Corinne Stephens Lee and John F. Lee, Sr., in Dover, New Jersey.

She is survived by her husband James Walker Burroughs, the love of her life, whom she met while attending Endicott Junior College in Boston. Big sister to two brothers, Donald Lee of Toledo, Ohio, and Jack Lee of Carson City, California. Loving mother to Corinne Linda Murray (James Murray) of Durham, North Carolina, and Bruce Burroughs (Sara Burroughs) of Wilmington, North Carolina. Grandchildren, Emily Morton (Jeremy) of Angier, NC; Christine Lipella (Adam) of Zebulon, North Carolina; Jacobi Walker Burroughs and Juliet Keren Burroughs of Wilmington, North Carolina; and Great Grandmother to James and Owen Morton. She was lovingly referred to as Nana, by many.

She is predeceased by 2 grandchildren, Mary Corinne Murray and Jackson Walker Burroughs.

The matriarch of our family, she taught us how to live and love, and to care about and for one another. Nana was always there with the right comfort, be that a warm hug and smile, a wink and a squeeze of the hand, a favorite meal or sweet: chocolate chip cookies, boomerangs, or almond bars. Her kindness was not to be mistaken for a lack of strength or resolve; punishment was rare, but when necessary, you realized it and mended your ways quickly! She was a model of grace and strength, and taught us all right until the very end. Many traditions built by Nana and Papa will continue, including annual Beach Week. Mom and Dad’s love set the example for the family. Their strength, wisdom and generosity will live on in all of the future generations.

Although Mom’s primary passion was her family, throughout her life she was also blessed with great friendships and passionate pursuit of her interests. She gathered life-long friends over the many different places she made home, and never left any behind when the moving truck came. Mom made a lot of people feel special with her nurturing nature, and connected easily through her varied interests of history, genealogy, antiques, book club, church groups and travel. She thoroughly enjoyed researching family history, being actively involved in The Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames XVII Century, Lord Craven Chapter, a docent at the Latimer House, Honor Flight volunteer, and volunteering countless number of hours at all of her grandchildren’s schools. Tracing the family back through to the 1600’s, there was never a lack of suitable names for her descendants. Woe to the son and daughter-in-law who once asked for a list of potential family names – for a complete list was provided.

Retiring to Wilmington in 1995 allowed Mom and Dad to be nearer to their ever growing family, near the water, and expand their circle of friends. As members of Wrightsville Beach Methodist Church they built their quiet yet strong faith. Mom participated for years with the prayer group through church, sending out countless numbers of cards and prayers to all those in need. Special friends met weekly for the Monday Morning breakfast gathering, and also in recent times past, down at Oak Island.

Vesta was particularly devoted to The DAR, joining the Stamp Defiance Chapter, NSDAR, in 1997, and she held numerous chapter chairmanships. Her elected Chapter Positions include: Recording Secretary 1998 -2000; Chaplain 2004-2006; Regent 2006-2008; Honorary Regent 2008; and Registrar 2010-2012. Her State and National Appointments include: State Genealogy Preservation Chair 2009-2012; State Insignia Chair 2012-2015; and National Vice Chair Constitution Week, 225th Anniversary of the Signing and Ratification 2012-2013. She also served at Continental Congress, Registration 2014.

Vesta was instrumental in the revitalization of the Stamp Defiance Chapter, met the requirements for being a Volunteer Genie, and had 50 Member for Member credits. She qualified as a Volunteer Genie, Volunteer Field Genealogy, and Genealogy Consultant. Vesta had 6 Revolutionary Patriots and helped 50 other women with their applications.

Her faith is now rewarded, and her curiosity satisfied, as she continues her journey, now in our hearts, memories, and in our good deeds for each other.

Donations can be given to the charity of your choice or the American Cancer Society.

During this covid time where only small gatherings are possible the immediate family will have a small outdoor service per her request. Details later may be forthcoming after covid of a special memorial for all friends and family, no plans are in place at this time.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099.


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  • December 19, 2020
    Gloria walker ,amy, Eric , Kingston Bruce, & Charlotte waljer says:
    Our Sincere condolences to you and your family for the loss of your loved one. May God bless her in heaven and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • December 20, 2020
    Pat Gasson says:
    Jim and family, my sincere condolences to you all. I thought the world of Vesta and is is so sad to lose her. The great thing is that is is now with our Lord. Nothing is better than that. I know she will be greatly missed. She was an inspiration to me and a very dear and wonderful friend. Pat Gasson

  • December 20, 2020
    Judy Cradler says:
    I am so sorry for your loss. Vesta was such a wonderful lady. Peace to you and your family. Judy Cradler DAR

  • December 20, 2020
    Rowena P. Sewell, Stamp Defiance Chapter, DAR says:
    She was truly a very special lady. She will be missed.

  • December 21, 2020
    Jennifer Terry-Baker, DAR says:
    What a special lady she was indeed. Vesta gave me support, guidance, and encouragement getting my papers to submit for DAR confirmation. She was a fabulous Stamp Defiance member who will be sorely missed. Blessings to Jim and family now and always.