Getz Funeral Home
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
(575) 526-2419
Celebration of Life
Saturday, Jun. 15, 2019
10:00 AM
Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery
5140 West Picacho
Las Cruces, NM
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Jeanne Reid Gooden Burkhardt

1942 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Jeanne Reid Gooden Burkhardt

Las Cruces - Jeanne Reid Gooden Burkhardt

April 7, 1942 - May 14, 2019

Jeanne Reid Gooden Burkhardt, 77, a university librarian, avid reader, enthusiastic bird watcher, world traveler and dedicated family historian, as well as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, and friend to many, died at home in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 from metastatic lung cancer.

Born on April 7, 1942 at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, New Jersey, Jeanne grew up in Pennington, New Jersey and attended the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota, eventually graduating in 1974 from the University of New Mexico. In 1976, she earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Arizona and, in 1995, a second M. A. in English from New Mexico State University.

Jeanne's first library position was at Baylor University where she worked the reference desk and managed the interlibrary loan department. In 1977 she took a position at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where she managed two branch science libraries, Physics & Astronomy and Chemistry & Mathematics. Shortly thereafter, the Math Department invited her to help them collect tickets at Boomer Sooner home football games.

A highlight of Jeanne's career was her sabbatical in South Australia. Jeanne arrived in Sydney on the QE2 in December 1985, then traveled overland to the University of Adelaide's Barr-Smith Library. When her six-month sabbatical came to an end, the Dean at Barr-Smith asked Jeanne to stay on for an additional three months, and they placed her at the front reference desk because of her "lovely accent" and engaging people skills.

In 1991, following two years as head of the Eric and Sarah Rogers Library for Science and Engineering at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Jeanne returned to her beloved Land of Enchantment and became head of Collection Management at New Mexico State University. She concluded her professional career in the Gadsden Independent School District, serving as librarian at Santa Teresa High School from 1995 to 2000.

Jeanne was very proud of her two children. She admired Eric's virtuosity with string instruments, and she cheered from the stands when Brita won a gold medal in swimming at the 1995 Special Olympics in New Haven, CT. A determined advocate for Brita, Jeanne served on the Board of Directors of Tresco, Inc. in Las Cruces for six years; she also edited their newsletter. She was an active member of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society and served on their board as well.

Among Jeanne's passions were collecting art, swimming in her neighbor's pool, planning picnics, playing bridge, entertaining guests and hosting friends at many a Happy Hour. Above all, she was an accomplished birder. Nothing pleased Jeanne more than a trip to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge on a cold winter's day with her good friend and fellow librarian Linnea Hendrickson to witness the late afternoon fly-in and then enjoy a green chile cheeseburger at the Owl Bar.

Relaxing with a good book was one of Jeanne's many pleasures. She particularly enjoyed mysteries by P.D. James, C.J. Box, John Sanford, Henning Mankell and Michael Connelly. Frequently she would reread novels by her favorite authors, especially Nevil Shute. She also kept returning to the Nancy Drew series.

In 2000, Jeanne married the love of her life, Ross Burkhardt, an old friend whom she first met in 1954 when, as a 6th grader, she played third violin in the Pennington (NJ) Grammar School orchestra; Ross, an 8th grader, was a snare drummer. Eventually they made beautiful music together

Over the years Jeanne and Ross visited six continents. They admired the Taj Mahal, drove along Australia's Great Ocean Road, were awed by the ruins of Angkor Wat, swam in the Amazon, trekked the canyons of Petra in Jordan, cruised Alaska's Inside Passage, walked the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, camped on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and posed for a picture at the Great Pyramid of Giza. They also birded in Brazil, Belize and Bhutan, transited the Panama Canal, downed a Singapore Sling at Raffles, attended the opera in Vienna, Paris and Santa Fe, and devoured an omelette at L'Auberge de La Mere Poulard in Mont Saint-Michel.

In retirement, Jeanne organized a comprehensive collection of memorabilia related to her paternal ancestors - the Camp family archives - and, in the process, connected with several newly re-discovered relatives. She transcribed a treasure trove of family letters from Georgia and Colorado dating back to before the Civil War. In 2015 she donated these letters and accompanying photographs and artifacts to the Greeley History Museum in Colorado. Jeanne also rescued for posterity a 39-second fragment of silver nitrate film, taken by her forebear, Charles Camp, of her grandmother feeding chickens in 1904. This is perhaps the earliest home movie ever made in Colorado; Jeanne ultimately donated it to the Library of Congress.

A kindhearted woman with a welcome smile, a zest for life and a questioning mind, Jeanne is survived by her husband, Ross M. Burkhardt of Las Cruces, NM, her son Eric B. Howard and his wife Cheryl Ritter of Boulder, Colorado, and her daughter Brita K. Howard of Las Cruces. She is also survived by her husband's two California children and two grandchildren, as well as Jeanne's three first cousins: Eugene Martin of East Brunswick, NJ; Robert Reid of Lusby, MD and Susan Gooden Galbraith of Sandwich, MA. Jeanne was predeceased by her parents, Herbert Bickling Gooden and Martha Reid Gooden, and by her sister, Mary Eugenia Gooden.

A celebration of Jeanne's life will take place at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 5140 West Picacho, Las Cruces NM at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019 followed by a reception at the Doña Ana Arts Council, 1740 Calle de Mercado in Las Cruces.

Jeanne's family is sincerely appreciative of the compassionate efforts of Dr. Kathy Burke and Dr. Eugene Martin, as well as the dedicated staff and volunteers at Mesilla Valley Hospice, all of whom made Jeanne's final months much easier to bear. Contributions in Jeanne's memory can be made to Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 Montana Ave., Las Cruces NM 88005 and/or the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society, 275 Main St., Las Cruces NM 88001.

Arrangements are with Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave., Las Cruces NM 88001. Please visit to sign the local online guest book.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on May 21, 2019
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