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Burnell Morgan Perry (Kays)
Burnell was the seventh child born to the late James and Dora Morgan on February 19, 1932 in
Whitesburg, Ky. She grew up in a loving family with 6 brothers and 3 sisters. Her father was a kind and
gentle soul, working his land to provide for his family, he cried when at 20, Burnell cut her long red hair
into a fashionable bob. Dora was progressive for the era, teaching school while tending to the needs of
a full house. You would be always be welcomed with a fresh glass of buttermilk and cornbread at her
table. At the young age of five Burnell not wanting to be left behind, decided it was time to attend school with
her older siblings and surprisingly was allowed to do so. With the opening of the Indiana Army
Ammunition Plant the family moved to Charlestown Indiana. Burnell graduated at 17 from the three
story Brick School House that stood on the square. While working part-time as a hostess at the
Charlestown Hotel, (now known as The Governor's Mansion), on Water Street, she commuted via bus to
Louisville, Ky to attend business school. With a degree in business administration, she worked as an
executive secretary for operation directors at IAAP and ICI. She parlayed her refined skills and became a
successful real estate broker and agent. She relished being able to help families, often not charging her
full fee. In 1952, while driving around the square and barely able to see above the steering wheel, she “bumped”
the man that would become her husband with the old Buick. A year later she and William, (Bill) E. Perry
were married. Burnell loved to remember in vivid detail the time they lived on a lake in Moose Pass,
Alaska. She fell in love with the raw and splendid beauty of this region and developed a passion of
fishing which she continued to enjoy for many years. Moving between Indiana and Alabama their family grew, finally settling on Charlestown.
Burnell was fastidious in her appearance and those of her children, often sewing matching holiday
dresses for the three girls. She had high standards with a twist of humor, like the time Steve said he
needed a note for school because he had missed the day before spending it at 14 Mile Creek. Vice
Principal Reisinger opened the envelope, paused and then read aloud, “Please excuse Steve’s absence
from school yesterday, he went fishing” Mrs. Perry. Burnell displayed unconditional love for her family, and projected an inner strength, never allowing
adversity to keep her down. She had a zest for life and an energetic step on the dance floor, which she
perfected into a smooth and subtle shrug of one shoulder and a sway of the hip. She was an
accomplished cook, the jingling tune from her pressure cooker created joy and anticipation of a tender
roast with trimmings, fresh green beans, creamed potatoes….. an infinite variety of deliciousness. She
memorized woodland plants, their genius or medicinal use by sight as told by her mother. Burnell
always had a garden of Big Boy tomatoes and an assortment of beautiful but prickly rose bushes
attended to in recent years by her devoted husband, Oscar.
With the blessing of grandchildren her voice would reach an octave of sheer delight when they would
visit. Often making a pallet on the floor lining them up in a row like a litter of kittens. Only to rise and
spend the day making sweet memories of trips to the zoo, a cabin on the lake or a warm sandy beach.
Burnell loved to travel with family to Kentucky lakes, Florida beaches and cathedrals in Italy. She was a
devoted sister, meeting with her siblings at the Legion, hosting holiday meals, and later providing
doting care. The last several years she lived happily and contently with her husband Oscar Kays in Jeffersonville.
With her change in needs, Burnell moved to Hopkinsville with her daughter, Debbie Milburn and family,
who provided unwavering devotion and care. She was surrounded by her loving family, their thoughts
and prayers, as she gently passed on Sunday, June 17 th to join those that have been waiting.
Loved ones that cleared the path for Burnell are:
Son: Stephen P. Perry and Grandson: Stephen E. Perry
Sisters: Lillian Fields, Tina Blake & LaVeda Grider; Brothers: Clemon, Hurstle ,Verlon , & Venice .
Son in-law: Bud Roye’ (he’ll be looking forward to dancing with her to the tune of “play that funky music
Loved ones that will remember her youthfulness and miss her terribly until they meet again;
Children: Debbie Milburn (Michael), Gwen Roye’, Billy Perry (Paula), and Jenny Kemp.
Step-children: Kathy Dorsch (Bill), Terri Kruer (Jeff), Sherri Lynn (Dwayne), & Danny Kays (Anita).
Grandchildren: Becky Milburn, Andrea Flynn (Tim), Adam Milburn (Veronica), Morgan Bush (Jordan),
Cammie Ebright ,Charlie Howell (Veronica), Doug Roye’, Brandon Perry (Simran), Dylan, Andrew, Elliott
Kemp.And an even dozen of assorted Great Grandchildren.
Brothers: Hubert (Montina) Morgan and family. Wade Morgan and family.
Sister In-law: Eula Morgan and family
Burnell, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and wife will be missed for her unconditional
love, sense of humor, compassion, and of course her fried chicken.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, June 22, 2018 at 2pm at the Grayson Funeral Home in Charlestown, with burial to follow in the Charlestown Cemetery. Visitation will begin on Friday after 10am till time of the service.