FEBRUARY 24, 1924 – FEBRUARY 24, 2014

Violet Lorraine Beechum Jackson Burnett would have been 90 years old today!


On December 2, 2013, I asked everybody in our sibling family line, who wanted to contribute, to write a short anecdote (or, even a sentence) that described any personal recollections/ experiences/ interactions with mom in one or all of the following three (3) areas:

1. OBSERVATION – a favorite mom moment.
2. PERSONAL – a one to one lesson learned from interacting with mom.
3. COMMUNITY – some aspect of her service and interaction with the community, such as interactions and contributions to areas like: church choir, neighborhood, public school system, etc.

I let everybody know that we were going to use these on our website and also in the Burnett Annual newsletter for 2014.

Thanks. Love and Peace, Cb
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I sometimes permed Vi’s hair. When I did I would do a voice and character we called Willy, a Chinese hair dresser from Hong Kong. One time I had her laughing then told her Jesus wasn’t Black like some people claim but he was really Chinese. She got frustrated and a little angry but I had a hold of her head which was full of relaxer and I kept talking making up more story. She just ended up pointing that finger at me with that disgusted look then later laughing.


Aunt Violet certainly left an impression on Chicago. Mom’s friends here thought that was “something else.” There was something special about Aunt Violet and Mom together. Aunt Violet brought out a comical side of Mom that she rarely displayed at home. They were hysterical when they were together.


I remember when we went to clean out her room at the nursing home. The young man, Greg, I think that is his name, was so eager to be helpful and told us how Mom showed him how to correctly make the bed. He was amazed at how well of a job she did with only one hand. I could tell he and Mom had a relationship. He was going to miss her, too


Mom would remind me that time doesn’t heal all wounds but if i lived long enough, you will definitely forget the hurts…lol


1. OBSERVATION – a favorite mom moment.
Mom was forever taking care of us. When I sent her a copy of my book Mom told me not to worry she had something for my children and myself. She told me she was very proud of me and she knew things had been hard for me raising four individuals two with Aspergers. I asked her if she still loved Dad. She paused and said it doesn’t matter he was scooped up after their last argument….. but yes she still did.

2. PERSONAL – a one to one lesson learned from interacting with mom.
Always put God first!

3. COMMUNITY – some aspect of her service and interaction with the community, such as interactions and contributions to areas like: church choir, neighborhood, public school system, etc. Joyce would be much better recalling and telling this story. We were new in school in Paola, Mom and Dad were called up to the school because we had aced all of the work books given to us for school. We had worked each of the work books for the different classes. ….. and the answers were correct. The Principal stated we must have had a teachers copy to get all of the answers correct and before any instruction. Needless to say as Joyce and I sat in the hall outside the Principals office I just remember Mom entering the office slamming the door and the sound of breaking glass from the door. I assumed the Principal was in big trouble with Mom and I remember thinking I was glad I wasn’t him.


1. OBSERVATION: Favorite Mommy moment….Mommy could be tender…..Strawberries are my favorite! When I was 4 years old, I decided to eat strawberries from the delicious bush growing near the Pratts’ home. The next day, I had a terrible stomach ache. Mommy ministered to me until I got better the very next day. About a week later, I did the same thing. Frustrated, Mommy asked “What are you EATING?!” I immediately answered, “Stwawbeweez.” Horrified, Mommy exclaimed, “BUT THEY’RE GREEN!” i replied very matter of factly, “I know,” because I knew my colors. Then Mommy explained why I could not eat green strawberries. So, I answered, “Bambi eats them.” Then Mommy softly explained the difference between little kids and baby deer to me. I got it then and patiently waited for the berries to turn red.

2 PERSONAL .Mommy was the first person who taught me to stand up for what is right even if my knees are shaking, to speak my mind clearly, to have an informed opinion and to never, ever give up.

3. COMMUNITY SERVICE: You guys would know better about this aspect of Mommy’s character because until my last 3 years at home, Mommy was a stay at home mother. The best comment I can make is that she was always part of the “Welcome Wagon” to new wives of enlisted Airmen, usually willing to help a struggling military family, shared our Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners with Airmen who had no families and later, with patients from the state hospital whose family had them committed even though nothing was wrong.

Oh…the only time that Mommy came to the high school when I was attending was when I graduated. I had an incident occur after the first half of the year when Mrs. Mortenson accused me of cheating in front of the whole class when I was doing extra credit work and when our parents could not afford to buy the in-class workbook until several weeks into the school year. Mrs. Mortenson accused me of having a 2nd workbook at home. I took notes in outline form. She walked passed my desk one day while we were assigned a section in the workbook, saw that the top page of my notes corresponded with the top page in the workbook both in outline form and in corresponding answer. So, she accused me of cheating. My heart was broken, I cried all the way home after the bell rang at 11am. After Daddy came home from work, our parents called this teacher and her only explanation was that she wanted me to say out loud that I took notes in class. Lie. The next day, all of my teachers except my math teacher challenged me openly in class. At first, I thought it was a game and I liked showing off that I knew more than the other kids. But the way Mr. Mallard asked the last question in my last class told me these people were serious. That is when I learned that our parents could not protect me. I never told our parents what happened. Instead, I figured I needed to teach those Paola folks a few things before my siblings showed up. I think I only told Chris and Penny about this after we became adults. Chris told me that while he was in Journalism Club, Mrs. Kaiser stated, “Joyce taught us that Black people are human beings, too.” That made me feel great because I used to blatantly scoot down in my seat, cross my arms and legs then go to sleep in Mrs. Kaiser’s class….my desk sat right in front of hers….


Right on bro – love our mother

Posted in Violet Lorraine Beechum Jackson Burnett