Muriel (Sunbury) Burleigh
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Formerly of Norwalk
Muriel (Sunbury) Burleigh, 85, died peacefully with her loving family by her side, on Friday, March 14, 2014 at Manchester Memorial Hospital. She was born in Lowell, MA on December 13, 1928 to the late Kenneth and Margaret (Carroll) Sunbury. She was predeceased by her husband John Jack Burleigh, to whom she was married for 45 years.
Muriel attended Sudbury High School in Massachusetts where she graduated as valedictorian. From there she went on to New Paltz Teachers College in New York, and again graduated as valedictorian of her class. Muriel became an elementary school teacher, and taught in Wantagh, NY and Norwalk, CT.
After 25 years of teaching, she pursued a career as an optometric technician, working in Bridgeport for several years. Her final career change was made in order to help her son Art, at Dart Dental Supply, where she became its first administrative assistant and bookkeeper; a position she enjoyed for almost 10 years. Muriel lived in Norwalk, CT for 38 years, before moving to Vernon in 2005.
Her lifelong love of gardening and nature, along with her membership in the Norwalk Choral, kept her busy and very involved in the Norwalk community. She was president of the Norwalk Garden Club at one time, as well as a volunteer at the Westport Nature Center. Muriel was an active member of the First Congregational Church on the Green, and for the past 9 years, of South United Methodist Church in Manchester.
Muriel is survived by her two sons and their spouses; Art and Debbie Stengel of Stratford, CT, and Mark and Sue Stengel of Brookfield, NH., her daughter Leslie Wolfenden and her husband David, of Manchester; six grandchildren; Kevin and Kylie Stengel, Keri Harrington and her husband Matthew, and Caroline, Jeffrey, and Christine Wolfenden, three great grandchildren, her sister Carolyn Pye of Maynard, MA, and her brother and his wife, Stanley and Judy Sunbury of Tarpon Springs, FL.
In addition to her husband, Jack and her parents, Muriel was predeceased by her first husband, Arthur J. Stengel, and her grandson, Jarid Moody.
Memorial calling hours will be held on Friday, March 28, 2014 from 6-8 pm at Holmes Funeral Home, 400 Main St. Manchester. A memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 11:00 am at South United Methodist Church, 1226 Main St. Manchester. Burial will be private in Ossipee, NH.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Muriel's memory may be made to the South United Methodist Church Elevator Fund, 1226 Main St., Manchester, CT 06040.
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Published in The Hour on Mar. 23, 2014