Erva Burkett Shifflett, born Erva Lynette Burkett, on November 24th, 1936, passed away peacefully at approximately 2:36am on September 11th, 2020 at the Acute Hospice Care Center of Hospice of the Piedmont in Ivy, Virginia. Erva was a woman that managed to experience many versions of a wonderful life in her nearly 84 years on Earth.
Erva was born to Peter Samuel Burkett, affectionately known as “Big Daddy”, and Hattie Belle Rucker Burkett in Martinsville, VA. The fifth Burkett girl, Erva was preceded in death by both of her parents and her four sisters: Betty Chiesa, Eileen Taft, Sammy McCarthy, and Jean Eltringham. During her early childhood the family relocated several times including stops in Newport News where Big Daddy worked in the shipyards during the war and Nelson County where she grew up with the real life “Waltons”. During her teen years Erva lived in Stanardsville where her father served as an ordained Methodist minister. It is here that she made many lifelong friends and met the love of her life and husband of nearly 60 years, Randolph “Punch” Franklin Shifflett. As a young woman Erva attended William and Mary University and in later years The University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
During their life together Erva and “Punch” lived throughout the Southern US. As they built their life and family together Erva held several careers including bookkeeping, secretarial work, real estate, and at times being a stay-at-home wife and mother. The couple was blessed with and survived by their three children: Debra Shifflett Snow; Randolph “Randy” Franklin Shifflett Jr.; and Sabrina Shifflett Rivera. In the middle of the 1970’s Erva and her family settled in Stanardsville, VA where she worked for the county of Greene in multiple capacities through the years.
Having excelled in the roles of wife, mother, businesswoman, and administrator, the mid 80’s found Erva beginning her career with the federal government. Stints in the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency provided Erva with opportunities for her and Punch to travel and live in many different parts of the world. Spain, Turkey, Kenya, Afghanistan, and the Baltic Region were some of the many fascinating places that Erva (and at times Punch) lived and worked in for varying periods of time. These travels afforded the couple opportunities to collect beautiful memories, fabulous items, and a better understanding of our world and other cultures. When not working overseas Erva would work and live in Northern Virginia during the week and return home to Stanardsville
and her family on the weekends. She had many wonderful memories and stories to share of roommates and friends she met during her time working for the federal government.
In her 70’s Erva finally retired from work and focused on enjoying her golden years with family and friends. Erva enjoyed her retirement traveling, playing penny slots in Charles Town, celebrating milestone achievements of family and friends, being a part of multiple church congregations in the area including Stanardsville United Methodist Church where Big Daddy had been a minister, and spending time with her ever growing family. In the last few months of her life Erva resided with her daughter and son-in-law, Debra and Michael Snow, where she enjoyed watching the wildlife, visiting with others on the porch, and taking in the beautiful mountain views.
In addition to her parents, sisters, and husband Erva was preceded in death by her grandson Stephen Horne of Wilmington, NC. She is survived by her three children; Debbie and her husband Michael of Ruckersville, VA; Randy and his wife Lisa of Wilmington, NC; and Sabrina and her husband Pedro of Wilmington, NC. Her grandchildren Joshua Breeden (CJ), Zachary Horne (Heather), Jacqueline Breeden (LB), Jordan Strombeck (Justin), Jeremy Breeden (Kara), Hannah Breeden, Randolph Franklin Shifflett III “Little Randy”, Samuel Shifflett, Abelardo Rivera, and Alexander Rivera as well as two adopted grandchildren, Trinity Rivera and Oliver-Layne Rivera and her 8 beautiful great-grandchildren.
Erva’s family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the care teams at Martha Jefferson Hospital and Hospice of the Piedmont for the outstanding care and compassion they provided during her final days. Thank you as well to Ryan Funeral Home for providing cremation services for Erva. At this time there will be a small gathering of immediate family to celebrate and remember our dearly departed Erva. Due to restrictions and the current pandemic the family has decided to hold a larger and more public celebration of Erva’s life during the Spring of 2021. We appreciate your understanding and hope that at that time we can all gather safely and share stories, memories, laughs, and truly celebrate a remarkable woman and life
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you please donate to Hospice of the Piedmont in Erva’s memory. Many people within that organization worked hard to make Erva’s final hours peaceful and comfortable for her while showing family members sympathy and compassion.