Ethel M. Burke was born in Edenton, North Carolina on December 17, 1932 to Hattie M. Felton and Lucious Johnson. She attended Pasquotank County Schools in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She was a domestic worker for several years. Ethel was a life time member of The Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith.
She was predeceased by her parents, Hattie Felton and Lucious Johnson; sons, Elijah Burke, Vernell Boyce and Joseph Johnson Jr.; granddaughter, Ethel Faulks and grandson, Chris Spruill. She leaves to mourn her death her children, Vivian Woodard, Ernestine Edwards, Arneta Thagard, Vernice Burke and Georgeanna Spruill; grandchildren, George Johnson, Loretta Johnson, Vernon Johnson, Douglas Johnson, Keisha Calvert, Jonte Boyce, Demetrius Boyce, Jaquan Boyce, Jayvon Boyce, Ernest Johnson, Cassandra Griffin, Esther Frazier, Bernice Frazier, Joseph Johnson, Netricia Spruill, Adrienne Mabry, Devon Spruill, Adam Burke, Kiera Burke, Kieona Taylor, TaSean Burke; great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and great great great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family and friends.