Love and Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles’ Mother Dies After Long Struggle With ALS
Susie Barker Liles Burchett, who was the mother of Love And Theft Duo member Stephen Barker Liles, died on Tuesday (Nov. 5) after a nearly three year-long battle with ALS, the neurodegenerative disorder also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" after the famous baseball player who succumbed to it in 1941.
Burchett was a light and inspiration to many in the country music community, with names including Canaan Smith, Florida Georgia Line, Trent Tomlinson, Stevie Monce, Dan + Shay, Jerrod Niemann, Craig Campbell, Parmalee, Lauren Alaina, Tyler Farr, Charles Esten and more rallying to put on benefits for her care at Tennessee's historic Ryman Auditorium and Wilma Rudolph Center.
"The love from the country music and ALS community has been overwhelmingly comforting to me and my family," said Liles of his mother's passing. "We are so grateful for all artists that have donated their time at our events to help raise awareness for this devastating disease. Her memory will live on in all of our hearts and in our ALS charity forever."
"Lights that burn bright never burn out. She made her mark on me through her unwavering faith in Jesus. I’ll always remember and cherish her kindness to me and my family," said family friend Canaan Smith. "Her prayers will live on and not return void. God bless you, sweet Susie. Time to go dancing with the angels."
Burchett is survived by her husband, ex-husband, five children, three stepchildren, and eight grandchildren. Services will be held on Monday (Nov. 11) at the First Baptist Church of Clarksville. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, mourners consider donating to the Shine for Susie ALS Fund by Hark-ALS that helps families facing ALS to cover expenses that the government and insurance don't cover. To learn more about ALS, or to donate, click here.
ALS has struck the music community at large in a devastating way this fall, with rock musician Kim Shattuck of the Muffs and the Pixies also dying at just 56 from the condition in October.
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