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1932 Parthenia Irene Lewis 2024

Parthenia Irene Lewis

April 5, 1932 — June 20, 2024

Denver

Parthenia Irene Burton was born in Binger, Oklahoma on April 5, 1932 to Dorothy (Slaten) Burton and Freeman Harold Burton. She grew up in El Reno, Oklahoma and attended Booker T. Washington from grade school through high school. Parthenia and her siblings grew up in the Church and were members of Sunrise Missionary Baptist Church in El Reno. She was the youngest of Dorothy’s four children and spent a lot of time with her oldest brother, Edward Roy Burton who joined the Navy and died in Pearl Harbor at the age of 19 saving two other sailors and her best friend and older sister, Eunice Edna Burton. Her brother Harold Freeman Burton was the life of any party and always made her laugh and her cousin/adopted brother Alvin Gene Jackson always impressed her with his intellect. Parthenia played as a Forward on the Booker T. Washington High School Girl’s Basketball team.

 She followed in the footsteps of many family members and attended Langston University, the only Historical Black College and/or University (HBCU) in the State of Oklahoma around the same time as her older sister, Eunice Burton. After graduating from Langston University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education, Parthenia pursued a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Parthenia’s first teaching job was with the Missouri Public School system where she taught in Kansas City, Missouri for five years before embarking on a new adventure and moving to Denver, Colorado.

 Parthenia taught in Denver Public Schools for a few years before meeting and marrying Vernon Lewis. The couple had one child, Rita Renae Lewis. The Lewis family moved from East Denver to Northeast Park Hill shortly after redlining allowed more Black people to move east of Colorado Blvd in the early 1960s. 

 Parthenia was an avid bowler, an active member of the Black Educators Association and NAACP, a loyal member of New Hope Baptist Church and various other civic and neighborhood organizations. She was a sports enthusiast and loved watching football, basketball as well as track & field. 

She loved jazz, R&B, plays, musicals and buying the latest and greatest gadget. She spent the majority of her teaching career at Gilpin Elementary School in East Denver and retired from Denver Public Schools after teaching for a total of 37 years. She supported any initiative supporting black women/black girls and was also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

She was a 2009 “Living Legend” Honoree based on her work promoting a safe and healthy community for students and adults in Northeast Park Hill by working with “Safe Night” and “Night Out” activities as well as being a member of the Ivy Street Neighbors Association, Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC)and the Colorado Health Outcome Program.

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Service Schedule

Today's Services

Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ivy Beyond The Walls Memorial Service

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

6:00pm - 7:00 am (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home & Cremation

6601 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

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Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Friday, July 26, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home & Cremation

6601 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Reception

Friday, July 26, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Mountain time)

Pipkin Braswell Funeral Home & Cremation

6601 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

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