Elizabeth "Liz" Burchett, 70, passed away on Wednesday February 24, 2021; however, the impact she has made to her family, friends and community will continue to live on. She was born in East St. Louis, IL and is preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Olga Laughlin, and younger sister, Suzann Carr, all from the Belleville, IL area.
She leaves behind her beloved Brother, Thomas and wife Fran Laughlin; Sisters, Patricia and husband Mark McCarthy, Judith Gisondi; Sons, John and wife Flora, Thomas and wife Nichol, Timothy and wife Carrie; Grandchildren Nathan, Andrew, Brianna and Jada; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
She joined the United States Air Force in 1970 and completed basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX as an Airman. She completed Tech School at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX as an Airman 1st Class as a Medical Technician. Ms. Burchett was stationed at Scott AFB outside of Belleville, IL for one year. She was married in October 1971 and then transferred to Langley AFB, VA. She was honorably discharged in March 1973.
As a mother and spouse, she raised three successful children. John who graduated from Mississippi State University as an engineer and now lives in Texas. Thomas, Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, recently retired after 28 years and lives in Texas. Timothy, a local Firefighter for the Waveland, Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian fire departments.
In 1983, while living in Beeville, Texas, she began what would end up being a very lustrous 37 plus year career with the Department of Defense (Civil Service). Upon her death, she was proudly serving the men and women assigned to the 20th Seabee Readiness Group at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport.
Ms. Burchett was very active in organizations throughout the local community. She served as the Secretary for the Biloxi National Cemetery Memorial Committee to ensure flags were placed on approximately 21,000 Veteran grave sites in preparation for the Memorial Day Ceremony. She served as the legionnaire finance officer for American Legion Post 33, Biloxi. She has volunteered for nearly twenty years with the Harrison County Sheriff Department’s program "Feed the Needy" to provide meals during Thanksgiving and Christmas. She was currently active with the TRIAD (Sheriff, AARP, Police), SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement) and RSVP (Retired Seniors Volunteer Program) committees for the past 12 years volunteering over 4,500 hours. While serving in these positions she oversaw the delivery of over 1,000 reflective address signs, File of Life medical cards, and the previous porch beacon lights – each vital to first responders during emergency situations concerning seniors within the community. Since 2015, she has volunteered nearly 2,000 hours with the Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society to knit 66 baby blankets for expectant military families. In her spare time, she knitted hats and wheelchair blankets for seniors who reside in assisted living facilities on the coast. Being a 2-year cancer survivor, she also knitted and donated hats to other cancer patients.
During her career with the DoD and being an avid volunteer within the local community, she received numerous awards and honors including the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department Volunteer Service Award in 2009, a letter of appreciation from American Legion Riders of Post 382, Navarre, FL for her help with their annual run in Biloxi, The “Blue Cap Award” in 2011 which is the American Legions Highest award, The President’s Volunteer Service award for outstanding volunteer service, A certificate of appreciation by Volunteer Mississippi in 2017 (an organization for service to others). She has been recognized over the years as an outstanding Supply/Logistics guru receiving numerous awards, coins and accolades from her unit as well as people serving in all branches of service throughout the states and around the world.
Ms. Burchett strongly believed in the phrase “Veterans Still Serving”. She will be loved and missed by all who knew her.
Visitation will be on Monday, March 15, 2021 from 9:00am until 11:00am at the RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME in Biloxi. The funeral service will be held at 11:00am in the funeral home chapel. Interment will follow at the Biloxi National Cemetery. We request that masks be worn and continue to social distance during this time.
An online obituary may be viewed, and memories shared at www.riemannfamily.com
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