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William Dwayne Burks, known fondly as Dwayne, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 9, 1956, and peacefully passed away in the same city on November 10, 2023. Dwayne was a spirited and passionate man whose faith-filled life inspired many.
Dwayne was the fourth oldest of six children born to the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Burks and Zephrine B. Burks. His father and brother, Roland Kenneth Burks, preceded him in death. Dwayne's love and memory will forever remain in the hearts of his children: sons William Burks Jr., Demetrius Burks, and Zachary (Claudia) Marbury; his beloved daughters Brittney and Brianna Burks; and stepsons Lonnie Ghee and Demetrius Wimberly. He was a proud grandfather to Jasmine, Jacob, Moriah (Zachary), Jazmine and Leland Burks (Billy), Boris Burks (Brianna), and Brian Houston (Brittney).
Dwayne matriculated through the Cleveland Public School system, graduating from John F. Kennedy High School in June 1974 and from Cuyahoga Community College in December 2014. He discovered his love for sports during school, particularly excelling in track and field. His passion for music was also ignited during this time, as he showcased his singing talent and guitar skills in many high school talent shows, leading him to join the acclaimed Black Haze.
Dwayne's personal life was marked by love and companionship. He married Osceola Wilcox, and his son Billy was born through this union. He later married Maureen Burks, the mother of his daughters, Brittney and Brianna. His union with Carmen Marbury yielded two sons, Zachary and Demetrius.
Dwyane loved and cared for his family; above all, he loved the Lord. He was saved at the age of seven and baptized by his father. As a true "pastor's kid," he was heavily involved in the church. Under the leadership of his father, he attended Olive Grove Baptist Church, where he sang in the choir.
He intended always to be a blessing to anyone he met. He never met strangers and found pleasure in expressing acts of love that often came through his uncanny gift to make people laugh.
Dwayne's entrepreneurial spirit was matched only by his dedication to his community. He was a self-made man who built two successful businesses through hard work and determination. His first venture, B & B Quality Discount, became a beloved local institution known for its excellent customer service and commitment to quality. His second business, Another WDB Construction, contributed to the evolving neighborhoods of Cleveland, becoming a trusted name in the industry.
Music was also a significant part of Dwayne's life. His affiliation with renowned musical groups and organizations nurtured his gift and love for music. Despite his life challenges, Dwayne's faith in God remained unshaken. His love for God and music became unstoppable as he overcame these challenges. He found solace and deliverance in his faith, fuelling his passion for writing and singing. He had the privilege of recording some of his compositions, notably "My Mother's Love" and "It's All About You."
Dwayne was a cherished brother to Ronald (Shirley) Burks, Leonard Gregory (Marilyn) Burks, Brenda (Tommie) Johnson, Sheryl Linda Maria Acy. and an adopted sister, Aretha Tucker. His love extended beyond his immediate family, as he was an endearing cousin and a devoted uncle to a host of nieces and nephews. His guidance, support, and love were the foundation of many family gatherings. His laughter was a staple at these events, a sound that will continue to echo in the hearts of his loved ones.
Although his illness progressed, leaving him confined to a rehabilitation facility, Dwayne's faith continued to increase.
Dwayne was a spirited individual, radiating positivity wherever he went. His passion for life was infectious, inspiring those around him to live to the fullest. His faith-filled life was a testament to his belief in God and his ability to overcome adversity. His music, love for sports, and unyielding faith made him a beacon of hope and inspiration.
In conclusion, Dwayne's life was a testament to his strength, faith, and the power of love. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him, and his spirit will continue to live on through his music and the love he shared with his family and friends. His life was a beautiful melody, filled with high notes of joy, the rhythm of resilience, and the harmony of love. His legacy will continue to inspire and forever be etched in the hearts of all who knew him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.