Heaven got a new angel on Sunday February 11, 2018, her name is Brianna Janee Burke. She was 12, years old when God called her home, but she touched more hearts in that short time than some people do in a lifetime.
Brianna is survived by her parents, Ms. Nicole Houser and Mr. Gerren Burke of Hampton Virginia; siblings, two sisters, Camryn Burke, Sydney Burke, and one brother Ian Reynolds of Hampton Virginia, Maternal grandparents Donnie and Paulette Houser, Paternal Great grandmother Katherine O’Neal, and a host of family and friends. Brianna is preceded in death by maternal great grandfather William T. Wray Sr. and great grandmother Beulah P. Wray, paternal grandmother Windy F. Burke-Gibbs, paternal grandfather Owen O’Neal and great aunt Evelyn K. Burton.
On Saturday, July 2, 2005, a very warm and bright sun shiny day, the Lord smiled as one of his greatest creations made her grand entrance into the world…Princess Brianna was born! So appropriately named, Brianna means Strong, Virtuous and Honorable! Her trajectory was set, and the Lord whispered into her ear…”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1: 9)
Brianna was a very vibrant child who brought joy to everyone she encountered. Her personality and confidence were larger than life! Diagnosed with complex unknown Autoimmune disease at the tender age of six, everyone around her marveled as she continued to enjoy life. Yes, she enjoyed life; a life filled with lots of bright colors, pink being her favorite! And yes, Princess Brianna was a bit of a fashionista – she loved makeup and high fashion! She enjoyed making jewelry and art. Above all, she adored spending time with those whom she loved most, mom, Nicole, dad, Gerren, siblings Sydney, Camryn and Ian, and her doting grandparents, Donnie and Paulette Houser. Princess Brianna was never ever short on giving or receiving love!
Pushing past her physical pain she remained in public school through the fourth grade, as her illness progressed Princess Brianna began receiving homebound school services. Interesting enough, Princess Brianna never let the pain stop her! We believe she could still hear the soft whisper of the Lord saying… “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1: 9).
Thus, Princess Brianna continued to fight, and in 2016 she represented children in her community when she cut the ribbon for the Grand Opening for the Children’s Pavilion at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Additionally, in July 2017, on behalf of the Children’s hospital of Richmond Brianna went before Congressmen Dave Brat, Scott Taylor and Bobby Scott to advocate for children’s health care. Moreover, after his misfortune, she sent well wishes to Congressman Steve Scalise along with a reminder of the importance of children's Health, #SpeakNowforKids.
A star student, she won the hearts of many beyond her family, among them, her tutor Mrs. Lorrain Harrell, Nurse Practitioner Amanda Giddeon, Patient Advocate Jan Kirby, and Music Therapist Molly Luck.
Though her presence will be missed, Princess Brianna’s legacy will forever live on. When we see shades of pink or hear of advancements in children’s healthcare, we should remember this beautiful, strong and vibrant little girl, Princess Brianna, who to listen to the whisper of the Lord… “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. (Joshua 1: 9).
Goodnight Princess Brianna until we meet again!
Services for Brianna will be held 1:00 p.m.Monday, February 19, 2018 at New Hope Baptist Church. 1415 Big Bethel Rd. Dr. Christopher C. Carter Sr., Senior Pastor./ Dr. Melvin T. Austin Eulogist. Hampton, VA.
Interment will follow at Hampton Memorial Gardens.
Viewing for Brianna will be held from noon until 4:00p.m. Sunday, February 18, 2018 at C.C.Carter Funeral Home. Inc.
It is the desire of the Burke- Houser family that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
The family of the late Miss. Brianna Burke has entrusted her final care to the staff of C. C. Carter Funeral Home, Inc.