School 14

Vanessa Dale (Hayes) Burchett

April 1, 1954 ~ December 17, 2020 (age 66)



Vanessa D. Burchett, age 66, a longtime resident of Washington, DC, and resided in Pearland, TX for the past two years, died Thursday, December 17, 2020, at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

She was born April 1, 1954, in Ashtabula, the daughter of Willie N. & Evelyn M. (Wilson) Hayes and grew up in the Jefferson area graduating from Jefferson Area High School, matriculating to Columbus, Ohio, and graduating from The Ohio State University. Vanessa received her master’s degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Vanessa spent over a quarter-century at The Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland teaching in the Lower School, where she was the first woman of color on the faculty. Vanessa's tremendous influence on her students and the school, including her lasting legacy as a leading voice in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion at Landon was a reflection of Vanessa and her dedication to the Landon community. Her son Austin '07, her nephew Leonard '99 and her nephew Matthew '07 were all Landon graduates during her tenure at the school. Vanessa was self-employed as an educational consultant in Houston, TX.

Survivors include a son, Austin L. Burchett of Houston, TX; 13 siblings, Cathie Carlton of Margate, FL, Emyrtle Bennett of Washington, DC, Raybert Hayes of Sanford, FL, Sherwin Hayes & Courtney Hayes, both of Washington, DC, Sandra Stevenson of Glendale, CA, Reginald Hayes of Columbus, Samantha “Tami” Hayes of Washington, DC, Mark Hayes, Jynette Hayes, Lynette Clausell & Laura Hayes all of Columbus and Matthew Hayes of Houston, TX and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces & nephews, cousins, friends, and Godchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Adrian Burchett; a brother, Willie Hayes and a sister, L. Quinnetta Norman.

Due to the pandemic and current travel restrictions, private services will be held at this time. A private burial will be in S. Denmark Cemetery beside her parents.  A memorial will be held at a later date. The Fleming & Billman Funeral Directors and Crematory and staff, 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, is privileged to serve the Vanessa Burchett family.  To express condolences, view the obituary or light a candle, visit


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