My brother, Charles Ellis Burleson, age 75, died on April 22 from COVID-19 at Grace Hospital, Morganton, NC.
No longer can the Mental Health System and the Buncombe County Public Defender's office torture me and my family in trying to release Charles into society. Our precious Mother, Helen Hare Silvey, who was the strongest person I knew, loved Charles beyond measure for twenty-five years. My Mother did as she said, "Went to her grave with her grief." I loved Charles unconditionally for the journey of forty years, meeting his every need.
In addition to Charles' Mother, he was predeceased by his father, Clarence Ellis Burleson. Mental Illness destroyed Charles' intelligent mind and his beautiful soul. As Charles' sister, I have no worry that God and His mercy met Charles with open arms.
Charles was a 1963 graduate of A.C. Reynolds in Asheville, N.C. He worked his way through college to obtain an undergraduate degree from UNC-A and a Master's in counseling from Western Carolina University. Charles' career with the North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation began as a counselor in the Asheville agency and was promoted to Counselor-In-Charge of the Hendersonville office.
On behalf of my family, we remember Charles for his unconditional devotion to his clients that he served to a fault. Charles is survived by me, my husband, Max, of Shelby, a nephew, Jeff Phillips and husband, Andy Estal of Wilmington, a niece, Christy Phillips of Charlotte, a first cousin, Judy Hare Ervin of Chicago and a lifelong devoted friend, J.L. Roland of Asheville.
Our deepest gratitude to the staff at Broughton Hospital and Dorothea Dix Hospital for their exceptional care for Charles. Over the last forty years, the staff became like family members. My greatest thankfulness, I owe to Sharon Davis, Charles' former wife. Sharon has stood with me through the torment as she and I fought for Charles to remain safe in the Mental Health System. The late Carlos Young of Shelby, my beloved friend and mentor, was my inspiration in my journey of Mental Illness. Carlos taught me with his profound words of "Helping Those Who Cannot Help Themselves."
A private burial will be held at Emma's Grove Baptist Cemetery in Fairview, NC.