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., to 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 (David) Nelson.
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 (Paula) Burr, Janice Steele and Chris (David) Nelson; seven grandchildren, Leslie (Paul) Nelson, Tom Jr., Tim (Jennifer) Burr, B.J. Steele, Bobby Steele, Matt (Angela) Nelson and Kenny (Shanell) Nelson; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and countless nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. today, Feb. 13, at Wood River Chapel in Hailey, Idaho. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Friday in New Sweden Cemetery in Idaho Falls.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to
or Hospice & Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, P.O. Box 4320, Ketchum, ID 83340.
Friends are invited to leave a condolence, share a photo or story and light a candle at www.woodriverchapel.com.