The Walter F. Burnett, Jr. Memorial Scholarship was formally established on September 18, 2009, by Mr. Burnett's widow, Mrs. Freddie Burnett and his children by marriage, Mrs. Shanine Coats, and Mr. Richard Abercrombie, III. Walter F. Burnett, Jr. was born on July 30, 1943, in Bristow, Oklahoma and passed away in Sacramento, California on January 6, 2009.
Mr. Burnett was a faithful member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church for 15 years and active in Men's Ministry, Hospitality and Usher Ministry of St. Paul. However, he is most remembered for his out-going personality and kind, uplifting spirit. Mr. Burnett loved people!
Mr. Burnett faced many life-threatening health challenges, including end-stage renal disease, vascular disease and congestive heart failure. He spent many years on dialysis, and although he received a kidney transplant that lasted him for 8 years, he spent the last two years of his life back on dialysis after his transplanted kidney failed.
In spite of his many health issues, Mr. Burnett persevered and his faith in God never wavered. After he became a double amputee and was confined to a wheelchair he would often wear his usher uniform to church on Sunday and greet everyone as they came.
Mr. Burnett was also a strong advocate for education, having just completed high school before joining the U.S. Army at the age of 17. He was proud of his years in the service; however, he regretted that he did not pursue a college degree after leaving the service. Because of this, he strongly encouraged young people to stay in school and complete their college education. He was always so proud when anyone in his family graduated from college.
We are honored to offer this college scholarship in his memory and we know he would be pleased that this scholarship will benefit the high school and college students from single parent, grand parent, foster parent, and legal guardian households, who have a desire to continue their education.