Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 12, 2013

Sally M. Ritcheson Burks


Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Sally M. Ritcheson Burks of Edmond passed away on Monday, March 4, 2013 at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center.

 She was born to the late Carroll Jefferson Moody and Helen Patchell Moody in Pauls Valley, Okla.

 Sally attended Pauls Valley Public Schools where she was an honor student, oboe player and twirler with the high school band. She was also Pauls Valley’s first female drum major!

 Sally attended DePauw University in Indiana and graduated from the University of Oklahoma.

 Sally taught English, drama, speech and the arts in Ponca City, and was coach of the school’s award-winning debate team. She has many former students who went on to further their musical and theatrical training and who now perform and teach professionally.

 Sally’s father was the county attorney in Pauls Valley and her mother was a music teacher. From this heritage, Sally grew to be a person of the highest integrity, always seeking and achieving perfection in performance, with exquisite taste and an uplifting spirit which was delightfully contagious.

 She was a teacher not only by credentials but also by nature, one who nurtured many people into realizing their own unique potential.

 She had a natural gift of leadership, recognized by many organizations, enabling her to assume responsibility for planning programs, services, and special events throughout Oklahoma. She planned and directed projects ranging from small, formal and elegant to those involving hundreds of people and multiple venues.

 Sally had a vivacious personality and unique organizational skills; and she became a “spirit leader” who successfully enhanced employee morale and created teamwork in organizations, voluntary associations and communities.

 She was a talented vocal and dance instructor, choreographer, and writer who scripted untold numbers ofvideos and performances. The videos ranged from humorous, to medical, instructional, recruitment, fund raising, anniversary and wedding celebrations, news magazines, and more.

 Sally retired in December 2009 after a successful career with INTEGRIS Health and Baptist Medical Center, where she was Director, TV Studio & Special Events from July 1981 – October 1996. She served as Director of Employee Communications from 2001 to retirement.

 During her career with INTEGRIS, she was active in leading the Allied Arts drive, the United Way campaign, the American Heart Association drives, Race for the Cure, Oklahoma City Beautiful, the Women’s Health Forum, Physician Appreciation Day, Hospital Week and many more events.

 She was the creator and producer of the INTEGRIS Employee Road Shows, which consisted of approximately 40 song and dance routines performed annually throughout all INTEGRIS hospitals.

 Her efforts also resulted in multiple awards including (only a few) the United Way Outstanding Campaign in 2000, the Telly Award for Video of Nazih Zuhdi, M. D., Induction to Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1996, Healthcare Marketing awards, Bronze Derrick awards, and the Outstanding Young Teacher Award from Ponca City Public Schools in 1968.

 Sally was loved by so many people - family and friends throughout Oklahoma and beyond. All of Sally’s friends felt they were Sally’s best friend!

 Family and friends were Sally’s greatest love and joy. She delighted in hosting  family weekend dinners, testing new recipes and making homemade pies for dessert.

 Sally introduced puzzles to her grandchildren along with the wonderment of bubbles, hide and seek, and a love of learning.

 Sally is survived by her husband, John Carter Burks Jr., son John Carter Burks III, daughter in law Trina Burks, and grandchildren Reagan Nicole Burks and Carter James Burks of Edmond.  She is also survived by her sister Carolyn Lockhart, and brother in law, Arthur Lockhart and many loving cousins.

 Sally’s memorial service will be held in the James L. Henry Auditorium at INTEGRFIS Baptist Medical Center at 4 p.m. Friday, March 15.

 The family requests that in lieu of flowers,  memorial contributions may be made to the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, directed to:

 INTEGRIS Health Foundation

 3030 NW Expressway

 Suite 1600

 Oklahoma City, OK 73112