Norma Lois Adams Burgin passed away on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Columbus, Georgia.
Norma was the youngest of seven children born to Roy and Anna Adams on August 12, 1928 in Woodward, Oklahoma.
Gifted by God with a beautiful mezzo soprano voice, Norma used her talent throughout her life in many ways by singing church solos; performing in concerts, choruses, and musical plays; singing for numerous weddings, funerals, and civic programs; and by opening several horse shows with “The Star Spangled Banner”. Her finest hour she said was singing “The Lord’s Prayer” in the Garden of Gethsemane in Israel as part of a communion service. She also had the opportunity to sing to the glory of God in Corinth, Greece from the bema where Paul had preached; in Ephesus, Turkey in the ancient amphitheater where she sang “The 23 rd Psalm”; and in Rome, Italy under the portico at St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls. These memorable moments occurred on her travels with her church family at St. Paul United Methodist Church with tour leader, Dr. Buddy Cooper.
Norma’s formal voice training came as she majored in voice at Oklahoma University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. She studied under Dame Eva Turner, who was known as “The Turandot” in opera circles, for her Master’s Degree in Voice at Oklahoma University. Norma also had the opportunity to study under Robert Merrill’s teacher, Samuel Margolis, in New York City.
In 1952 life led her to a voice teaching position at Andrew College in Cuthbert, Georgia. While there she met the love of her life, local businessman, Bobby Burgin (Mr. Robert Fleming Burgin, Jr) and married him later that same year. Mrs. Burgin was a vital part of the Cuthbert community from 1952 until 2004 when she moved to Columbus, GA. Always a patron of the arts, she helped form the Randolph Arts Council bringing performing arts to South Georgia. In her earlier years she performed in several musicals through Randolph Little Theater in connection with Andrew College. Notable roles were as “Aunt Eller” in “Oklahoma” and as “The Mother Superior” in “The Sound of Music”. Norma had been a
patron of The Springer Opera House for decades and loved attending plays there.
In addition to her love of music Norma had many interests. During her college years at Oklahoma University she was an active member of Gamma Phi Beta and served as President during her senior year.
She was an avid golfer, traveler, artist, Tennessee Walking Horse rider, scout leader, pianist, and memory maker for her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends.
Mrs. Burgin is predeceased by her parents, Roy and Anna Adams; her beloved husband, Robert Fleming Burgin, Jr.; her five sisters, Marie Stephens, Lucille Morris Gunther, Dorothy Dean, Lela Cullen, and Ruby Willard Wick; her brother, Luther Ross Adams; her son-in-law, Richard Gunnels; and her step grandson, Joe Sherwood.
Norma is survived by her three children, Beth Burgin Young (Hal), Robert Fleming Burgin, III (Nancy), Melinda Gunnels Sherwood(Mitch); five grandchildren, Mary Beth Harris Luciani (Luis), Jed Gilbert Harris, III (Ashley), Janet Marie Gunnels, Amanda Jill Gunnels, and Sarah Alexander Burgin; three step-grandchildren, Matthew Young (Julia), Jack Sherwood, and Sam Sherwood; and three great-grandchildren, Burgin Luis Luciani, Robert Harrison Luciani, and Anna Julietta Luciani. She is also survived by her niece, Karen Lynn Cullen Luke (Rob) who was like a little sister to her, as well as other nieces and
nephews and their families.
A funeral service for Norma will be at 2 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Columbus, Georgia on Monday, July 15, 2019 with the Reverend Keith Goodlett and The Reverend Dr. Shane Green officiating. Serving as pallbearers will be Jed Gilbert Harris III, William Jackson Burgin, Philip (Hal) Young, Mitchell Shaw Sherwood, and Matthew Hamilton Young. The family will receive visitors at St. Paul United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. prior to the service. Interment will be in Eastview Cemetery in Cuthbert, Georgia later that afternoon. Lunsford Funeral Home of Cuthbert, Georgia, is in charge of the arrangements.
Those wishing to make donations in her memory are asked to consider The Music Ministry Fund of St. Paul United Methodist Church 2101 Wildwood Avenue Columbus, Georgia 31906.