Ernestine Mae Thomas Burley, daughter of the late William Augustus Thomas and Hazel Davis Thomas was born May 22, 1933, in Camden, New Jersey. She departed this life on May 10, 2017. Ernestine was one of fifteen children.
Ernestine was educated in the Camden City Public School System, attending Saint Bartholomew Catholic School in Camden where she won the religious medal, and Camden Catholic High School in Camden.
After receiving her high school diploma, Ernestine went on to attend Boemont Nursing P.N. School in Philadelphia and graduated in 1952. She also went to school for special care services with the State of New Jersey Department of Health for training while working with the Camden County Health Services Center.
In 1965, Ernestine married Robert Wries Burley and they remained together until his death.
Ernestine worked for Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for nine years and later moved on to Lakeland in Blackwood, New Jersey for seventeen years.
Ernestine attended Church of God & Saints of Christ in Camden, New Jersey under the late Pastor Evangelist William Crowdy. She then began to fellowship and later became a member of Philadelphia First Tabernacle Church of God in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She fellowshipped under Bishop James Brent, Evang. William Crowdy, Deacon in Charge Ralph Green, and Elder Joseph Stevenson in Camden, Elder George Abernathy, and Elder Samuel McCollum in Trenton, Rabbi Jehu Crowdy, Sr., Rabbi Curtis Caldwell, Evang. Moses Farrar, Rabbi Marcus Carr, and Elder Asher Volkens in Philadelphia.
Ernestine had a title of Sister Elder. She was the Daughter of Jerusalem and Sister of Mercy for many years. Ernestine was untiring and dedicated to service, commitment and achievements. Ernestine’s reflection of God's love wisdom and guidance will forever be remembered. Ernestine worked hard at her church until her health would not permit her.
Her favorite songs were; “Hear My Prayer O’ Lord,” “Thy Word is a Lamp Unto my Feet,” and “I said I would Take Heed to my Way.”
In addition to her parents, Ernestine was predeceased by her husband Robert Wries Burley and siblings Evelyn Williams, Whyotta Pugh, Lynn Thomas-Wesley, Edward Davis and a baby boy that passed at a young age.
Ernestine will forever be remembered by: her children, Charles R. Thomas, Sr. (Kim), Cynthia E. Thomas-Gaither, Darryl James Thomas, and Alan Carlton Butler, Sr. (Dana Horsey); sisters, Gina Thomas, Hazel Lee-Briggs (John), Henrietta Davis; brothers, Martin Thomas (Anette), Howard Thomas, Bernard Thomas (Blanche), Roland Thomas, Maurice Thomas (Janet); four grandchildren, Tiffany L. Thomas-Hires, Morah E. Thomas, Charles R. Thomas, Jr. (Darnise Middlebrook) and Alan Carlton Butler, Jr., and twelve great-grandchildren, two special friends, Helena Speller and Leslie; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be 7PM Monday, May 15, 2017, at First Tabernacle Beth El, 602-14 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA., where friends may call from 6PM Interment will be in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden.
Arrangements are entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Atlantic City, where condolences may be left www.greenidgefuneralhomes.com.