When we think of Larry, which he was called,
the following words come to mind: God given
Creative Talent, Artist, Painter, and Mr. GQ.
Lawrence Kepel Burke
Mullins – Home Going Celebration for Mr. Lawrence
Kepel Burke will be held on Friday, November 20, 2020 at
Jackson and McGill Memorial Chapel, located on Main
St., Marion, SC at twelve noon. Rev. Anthony Alford,
Pastor of Beulah United Methodist Church, will be
officiating. Final resting place will be at Devotion
Gardens, Mullins, SC. Funeral Services will be directed by
Jackson and McGill Funeral Services, Marion, SC.
When we think of Larry, which he was called, the following words
come to mind: God given Creative Talent, Artist, Painter, and Mr.
Lawrence Kepel Burke, was born the third child of Earlene and
Gustave Burke on July 5, 1952 in Latta, South Carolina. On
November 14, 2020, the gates of Heaven opened and Lawrence
transitioned after battling a long illness. Lawrence accepted Jesus
Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. During his youth,
Lawrence developed an extraordinary gift and passion for the fine arts. This God given talent would propel
Lawrence’s mother to send him to weekend art courses at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Lawrence
continued his artistic endeavors, graduating from the specialized High School of Art & Design in 1970.
Lawrence would further his education at The State University of New York, New Paltz. During his college
years, Lawrence dived deeper into his artistic ability as he would work as an art instructor to the incoming
freshmen. He would also work as a counselor of admissions at the institution. He received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts
Degree in 1974. Lawrence would soon find himself working at the Environmental Protection Agency of New York
as a Public Relations Artist, further expressing his artistic talents. He would also work for the Human Resources
Administration as a part of the Department of Social Services in New York City as a caseworker.
A personal history which was written by Lawrence in 1984 documents his own account of his life and
family so far, done so in his own words, and it reads thusly:
“I was born 32 years ago in Latta, South Carolina, in a small house on July 5, 1952. I was
the second boy, the third child born to Gustave and Earlene Burke. My early memories of
my parents were that they were hard-working parents, later migrated from the south
just after I was born. My mother’s parents, Lawrence and Esther Berry lived on a farm
and were successful farmers in Marion, South Carolina. My father’s parents were Willie
and Viola Boatwright, he was an undertaker and carpenter, and she was a school
teacher (Pamplico, SC).
After moving to New York my parents had three other children. The Family
consists of Eula, the oldest child, Vincent, Dennis, Valerie, and Eileen. My parents tried
hard to make a living and support a family of this size in the 1950’s in New York City.
The early thing that I remember is that my family was very close and supportive of
each other. My older brother, Vincent, was very smart, a good basketball player, and
spent a lot of time with me. My oldest sister, Eula, was very creative and got me
interested in the Arts at an early age.”
Lawrence developed a very unique artistic style due to his studies. He is
exceptionally known for his glorious portraits. Lawrence displayed various elements of
surrealism in his artwork. These talents would allow Lawrence to open several art
exhibits in New York. During this time he would receive a Model City Award from New
York City for his work in the arts.
Upon arriving in South Carolina, Lawrence would begin attending and would
become a member of Beulah United Methodist Church. During this time he was
recognized as an Artist entering the Pee Dee Region as he held exhibits in Marion
County Library and Florence County Museum. Lawrence also expressed interests in
silk screening, photography, etching, and design. He was also particularly fond of
basketball, tennis, and he was an avid collector of Jazz.
Lawrence was preceded in transitioning by his beloved parents Earlene and
Gustave Burke and his eldest brother Vincent Burke.
Lawrence is survived by four siblings: Eula Guscena Dawson, Dennis Burke
(Claire), Dr. Valerie Burke, and Eileen Burke. Four nephews: Malik Burke, Dennis O.
Burke (Mairead), Vincent Burke (Lauren), Earl Cosby. One niece: Victoria Burke. One
great-nephew: Lucien Malik Burke, and one great-niece: Layla Angela Burke, as well as
a host of cousins, extended family, and friends.
Funeral services are scheduled to be held at the Jackson & McGill Memorial Chapel on Friday, November 20, 2020, at 12:00 pm. He will be laid to rest at Devotion Gardens Cemetery, Mullins. Services will be live-streamed on the Jackson & McGill Facebook Page.
The family of Brother Lawrence Burke, in consideration of the current health crisis facing our world, nation, state, and the local community, has decided to hold a private 50 people or less, family only, funeral service for their loved one with private interment immediately following. While the Burke family would love to be surrounded by your presence, they acknowledge the health risks to family, church members, friends, and particularly to those who are most vulnerable to this disease, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions. What the family needs most at this time are your prayers and understanding. Thank you for your concern and cooperation.
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