Wilhelmina Elizabeth Burr died peacefully Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, after a short illness at St. Luke’s Medical Center near Ketchum, Idaho.
She was born July 7, 1914, on her family’s farm on Pierce’s Road in Newburgh, N.Y. Her parents were Richard V. Kissam Sr. and Minnie E. Kissam (Whitlow). Willie grew up in Newburgh with two sisters and a brother, Marie Keesler, Richard V. Kissam Jr. and Cornelia V. Early. She attended West Street School and Newburgh Free Academy.
On July 13, 1934, she married the love of her life, Charles “Kenny” Burr in Goshen, N.Y. They had three children, Thomas K. Burr, Janice Steele and Christine Nelson (David). She kept her home and family in order for many years and enjoyed her pinochle card club and bowling. When life was tough, she worked harder and made ends meet.
In 1968, Willie and Ken, in search of some wide-open spaces, moved to Idaho. They settled in Idaho Falls close to Tom’s family. Willie soon found a clerical job with the Idaho National Lab and enjoyed riding the bus to the site for eight or nine years. Every weekend was spent Nordic skiing, fishing, camping, exploring Idaho, gold panning, arrowhead hunting, bowling and canoeing.
When Ken passed away in 1991, Willie settled her affairs in Idaho Falls and moved to Hailey. The Hailey Park Townhouses became her new home until recently when she moved to Safe Haven in Bellevue, Idaho.
Willie will be missed by those who knew her and called her Mom or Grammy, as she never tired of giving us advice, love, understanding and encouragement. She had the gift for making us all happy.
She leaves her three children, Tom Burr (Paula), Janice Steele and Chris Nelson (David); seven grandchildren, Leslie Nelson (Paul), Tom, Jr., Tim Burr (Jennifer), B.J. Steele, Bobby Steele, Matt Nelson (Angela), and Kenny Nelson (Shanell). There are also 17 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and countless nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Wood River Chapel. Burial will be Friday, Feb. 14, in New Sweden Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity or Hospice & Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, P.O. Box 4320, Ketchum, Idaho 83340.
Friends are invited to leave a condolence, share a photo or story, and light a candle at www.woodriverchapel.com.