ROCKWALL – A well-known, 23-year Rockwall resident and board member of the Rockwall County Boys & Girls Club was found dead in her car July 15 in the Rockwall Plaza parking lot about 100 feet from 24-Hour Fitness and Office Depot.
Claire Burks, 55, was declared dead at 3:01 pm by Rockwall County Justice of the Peace Jack James, after Rockwall police had been notified earlier that day by a passer-by who saw her slumped over in her car.
According to James, no foul play was suspected and her body was sent immediately to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the cause of her death.
He said although the autopsy is always conducted the same or next day, the toxicology report will not be available for at least eight weeks and sometimes up to three to four months. Her body was returned to her family immediately after the autopsy.
A memorial service was held in her honor July 19 at the Allure restaurant in Chandler’s Landing and was attended by over 150 people.
A former flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for over 30 years, Burks had recently sold advertising for the Rockwall Enterprise Success newspaper, owned by newly-elected Rockwall Co. Treasurer David Peek.
She was a member of the Rowlett Actor Group and was previously a co-owner of the Courthouse Deli, who became known as the “Soup Lady of Rockwall.”
She is survived by her son, Joshua (J.C.), 30, who lives in Austin, and her daughter, Dana Elizabeth, who resides in Rockwall.
Following is an obituary prepared by her close friend, Rockwall resident Doug Younie:
“Claire Burks was one of those unique individuals that would light up a room with her cordial “Howdy Y’all” or brighten a stranger’s day with her trademark response “Couldn’t be better!” when asked ‘How are you?’.
Claire brought that same affable attitude to her 30 years of service as a Flight Attendant with Southwest Airlines. She was an integral part of the early Southwest Airlines culture, and liked nothing more than making someone’s day a little better.
She was born in Amarillo, and raised in the Dallas area. Claire recently celebrated her 55th birthday. As a resident of Rockwall for over 23 years, Claire was well known. As a co-owner of the Courthouse Deli, she was the soup-lady of Rockwall. She was embraced on the stage through the Rowlett Actor Group and served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Rockwall County.
Claire has two wonderful children, Joshua (JC), 30 and now living in Austin, and Dana Elizabeth, 25 currently residing in Rockwall.
Claire passed away unexpectedly on July 15th. A Memorial Celebration was held on July 19th at the Allure Restaurant at Chandlers Landing and was attended by over 150 people whose lives were touched by her in so many ways. She will be greatly missed.”
By J.J. Smith, Publisher