George A. Smith & Sons Funeral Home

2812 North Highland, Jackson, TN


Laura Frances Burnett

August 5, 1931January 22, 2020

Laura Frances Burnett née Ray, 88, of Jackson, Tennessee, passed away on Wednesday January 22, 2020 after a long and fulfilling life.

Laura Frances was born on August 5, 1931 to Lloyd and Georgia Ray in Kenner, Louisiana. After graduating from Jackson High School in 1949, she went on to study music at Lambuth College, graduating cum laude in 1953. She also attended graduate school for Spanish and education at the George Peabody School and the University of Virginia.

At Lambuth she met Bill Burnett, and they wed in 1953, going on to have two children, Jeff and Beth.

Laura Frances taught Spanish at Fairfax Hall School and Lane High School in Virginia and the Episcopal Day School and Lambuth College in Jackson. She also taught piano for almost 65 years, retiring when she was 85.

Laura Frances was predeceased by her husband, Bill. She is survived by brothers Bill Ray and Sonny Ray, children Jeff Burnett and Beth Patterson, son-in-law Keith Patterson, daughter-in-law Paula Gunter, and grandchildren Cole Patterson, Laura Kate Patterson, Clara Burnett, William Burnett, and Marigold Burnett.

The family will receive friends and loved ones at a visitation to be held in Disciple Hall at First United Methodist Church, 200 South Church St., Jackson from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, January 27, 2020.

The funeral service will be conducted on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 3 p.m. in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church with Dr. Paul Clayton officiating. Interment will follow in Ridgecrest Cemetery

In lieu of flowers, donations to the following are appreciated: The First United Methodist Church, Jackson, TN and The International Philanthropic Educational Organization, 33 Starwood Cove, Jackson, TN 38395.


  • Visitation with Friends and Loved Ones Monday, January 27, 2020
  • The Funeral Service Monday, January 27, 2020


Laura Frances Burnett

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Amy Van Buuren

January 27, 2020

My husband & I have such fond memories of Mrs. Laura Frances while we attended Lambuth University❤️ We appreciate all her kindness and love throughout our time at Lambuth and beyond while living here in Jackson . She was a very special person and will be greatly missed ❤️

Amy & Bas van Buuren

Jeanie Todd

January 25, 2020

I first met Laura Frances when we both taught at Old Hickory Academy (now USJ). She was truly the most lovely and caring person . My heartfelt sympathy to her family .