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1933 - 2014 In Memoriam Condolences
MERNA WILSON BURNHAM July 7, 1933 ~ June 21, 2014 Merna Wilson Burnham, 80, of Anderson died Saturday after a short illness in her home surrounded by her family. She was born on July 7, 1933, to Rufus and Mary Wilson in Red Bluff, CA. Merna was the youngest of 11 children and spent her early years in the Lanes Valley/Paynes Creek area and attended school there until the 4th grade. She went on to Lincoln Street School in Red Bluff and graduated from Red Bluff High School in 1951. The early life she lived in Lane's Valley with her parents, brothers and sisters stayed with her forever. Though she was born in the depression era, Merna thought she was the richest girl in the world, rich with family love and security that continued throughout her life. She anchored the family by hosting traditional Thanksgiving dinners at her home for more than 40 years. These gatherings were eagerly attended by 60 - 85 members of her extended family. It was a testament to her strength of character and love of family when she hosted last year's Thanksgiving celebration. Merna met Albert Burnham in 1949, while still attending high school and they were married on March 11, 1951, in Reno, Nevada. Merna and Al were hard working people and took great pride in the fact they built 5 homes with their own sweat, labor, and hard earned money. They had 3 beautiful daughters, Debbie, Brenda, and Vicky, and 3 grandchildren, Ryan, Andrea, and Clayton. Merna was fiercely loyal and took great pride in her family and devoted much of her time and energy to them. Merna was predeceased by her husband of 39 years, Albert and her beloved daughter Brenda Cretaro. She is survived by her daughters Debbie Harding (Robert) and Vicky Burnham, her grandchildren Ryan Morton, Andrea Morton, and Clayton Stephens (John his father). She also leaves behind her loving and devoted companion and best friend of 23 years, Larry Burdick and his daughter Kimberly Lord (Pete) and their daughter Meredith, her son-in-law David Cretaro and his children Adam Cretaro and Alicia Pierce, and Robert Harding's children Lauren Harding and Bear Harding, her brother Vernie Wilson and sister Betty Crawford, plus numerous other family and friends. Services will be held Saturday, June 28, 3:00 p.m. at the Neighborhood Church of Anderson, 4684 Rhonda Road. Reception to follow at the Burnham Ranch, 5804 Balls Ferry Road, Anderson. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Redding Mercy Hospice or a .
Published in Daily News from June 25 to June 26, 2014
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