Laurie Bell Burgess

Sep 15, 2013


WAYNESVILLE — Laura Bell Messer Burgess, 105, went to her eternal home, surrounded by her family at her home in the Rabbit Skin Community on Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.

Granny Laurie or Aunt Laurie, as she was known to many, was born Oct. 4, 1907, in the Jonathan Creek Community and was the second born of 12 siblings.  Laurie was a life-long resident of Haywood County and the oldest living charter member and a prayer warrior of Liberty Baptist Church in Rabbit Skin.  Laurie loved working in her garden, quilting, sewing, reading her Bible and growing beautiful flowers.  She also loved to harvest, preserve and share her bounty with family and friends.  Laurie was a Christian from the age of 13 and a genteel country lady.  Her children called her Mother, and did so with the greatest respect.

Laurie was the daughter of the late Elijah Compton Messer and Callie Franklin Messer.  Laurie was also preceded in death by 10 of her siblings, her husband, the late Samuel Medford Burgess, three sons, Horace Eugene Burgess, James Hugh Burgess, Samuel Medford Burgess, Jr. and a great-great-granddaughter, Barbara Hope Whitten.

She is survived by one loving daughter, Mary Lou Hannah, one sweet sister, Eva Mozelle Rathbone, and one dear sister-in-law, Katie Messer, all of Haywood County.  Granny Laurie adored her seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, nine great-great-grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews, who are precious to her.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Liberty Baptist Church.  The Revs. Jerry Nelson, Jack Robinson and Bryan Parkins will officiate.  Burial will follow in the Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery.  The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday night at Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville.  Laurie will lie in state at the church 30 minutes before the service on Tuesday.

Pallbearers will be Neal McElroy, Richard Messer, Ralph Hoglen, Benny Morrow, J. C. Burgess and William Carver.  Honorary pallbearers are Charles, David and Robert Hugh Long,  Jerry Morrow, Harold Hoglen, Edwin, Bill and Danny Ray Messer, Eugene McElroy, Ronnie and Randy Burgess.

Memorials may be made to The Homestead, 127 Sunset Ridge, Clyde, NC 28721 or Jonathan Creek Fire and Rescue, 87 Joe Carver Road, Waynesville, NC 28785.

Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements.  For those who desire, an on-line memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at “”