Betty Ann Burns
Wednesday 12th of September 1928 - Monday 16th of November 2020
Betty Ann Oliver Burns, 92, passed away in her home in Nicholasville, Kentucky on Monday November 16, 2020. She was an only child, born to Eva & Fred Oliver on September 12, 1928, in Arkansas City, Kansas. The most important thing to her was family. Betty had a long happy life surrounded by a loving family and a large variety of Coca-Cola memorabilia. In September of 1947 (while engaged to someone else) she met Glenn Burns. He saw her walking down the street on her way home from a movie. He was on leave from the service and out with friends but didn’t think she should walk home alone. After arriving at her house Betty entered and announced to her parents that the man she was going to marry just walked her home. Three short months later on December 14, 1947 she married the love of her life and was married to Glenn for 53 years until his passing in the year 2000.
After marriage Glenn found out that Betty was not a very good cook. One day while he was at work, she baked him a cake. An extremely burnt cake. Not wanting him to know she wasn’t a great cook she didn’t want to throw the cake away in the trash. Betty took it into the backyard and with a shovel, dug a hole where she buried the evidence. When Glenn arrived home a neighbor stopped him to say how sorry she was that their pet had died. They didn’t have a pet. Upon questioning he found out that his wife had buried the cake in the backyard. In 1948, in a small town, that story made it in the newspaper.
During her life she was a telephone operator, a paraeducator for special needs children and a librarian in a middle school. As a telephone operator in a small town she would connect people by plugging them in on a switchboard. She always said that it was a great job because she could listen in on everyone’s conversation and hear the town gossip! Even private phone calls that shouldn’t have been heard!
In 1969 the family moved to Topeka, Kansas. She worked as a paraeducator for special needs children. All who knew Betty knew that she wasn’t a great driver. Well, she decided to drive a Taxi cab for the school. So she drove all over Topeka picking up and dropping off students. Thank goodness that only lasted a short while and she got a job inside the building working with the kids. The kids loved her! After she moved and would return for a visit when they saw her they would get excited and yell, “Burns, Burns!”
In 1979 the family moved to the Chicago, Illinois area. Her love of books and kids were taken to the next level. She worked as a librarian in a Middle school in Frankfort, Illinois. A job in a middle school did require a love of kids and patience! She enjoyed that job as well.
In 1987 Betty and Glenn returned to Arkansas City, Kansas. They returned to her childhood home and cared for her Aunt Ethel Calkins. Her love and commitment to her family was strong. Her main focus though was always her children and husband. After living in Kansas and Illinois, she retired with Glenn to Nicholasville, Kentucky. Together they enjoyed spending time with grandkids, traveling around the U.S. in a RV, going to auctions, and collecting many, many, Coca Cola items.
After the death of Glenn, Betty was devastated and didn’t know what to do. Lucky for her, she had grandchildren in Elementary school and a daughter who needed lots of help as PTA President. We kept her quite busy that year! She also had a love of German Shepherds and her dog Charlie helped her cope. She took her dog out for a drive one day. Thank goodness she took her cell phone with her. As mentioned before she wasn’t a great driver and apparently was not good with navigation either. We got a call from her saying that she was lost. Where? She didn’t know, she just kept saying she was by a water tower. After many questions we found out what road she left town on. It was the “curvy steep road with lots of rocks and a drop off on one side.” We knew then she headed towards Danville, which has lots of watertowers! Her daughter and grandson started out looking for her. Her other daughter was on the internet trying to figure out the locations of all the watertowers in the Danville, Kentucky area. Then we found out she was on a dirt road and could see a school. What school? What dirt road? She didn’t know. So now her daughter is on the internet trying to find out which schools in Danville, were on a dirt road, with a water tower next to them. We finally found her and requested she not take the dog out for a drive anymore!
In 2014, it was evident that she was no longer able to stay in her home without help. Her daughter Cindy and son-in-law Jamie, grandkids Kellie and Chris moved out to Nicholasville to live with her. It was always her desire to remain in her own home and not go to a nursing home facility. She had it all. Since her son-in-law is an incredible cook, and fixed her food for the last 20 years, we always suspected he was her favorite. 2 weeks ago she grabbed his hand and said, “You are my favorite.” Our suspicions were confirmed. In 2018, she started going to Best Friends Adult Daycare 3 days a week and she loved it! It kept her engaged, entertained and they took great care of her. Her love of Coca Cola was well known and they let her drink her coke daily as well as dubbed her the Coca- Cola lady. Over the last few weeks we needed help. Bluegrass Care Navigators Hospice was there to help. They gave us support to care for her, in her home, until the end. Right at the end we told her God and Glenn were waiting for her, Coca Cola in hand. She smiled and peacefully passed away with Cindy, Marilyn, Kellie, Chris and her favorite, Jamie, at her side.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband Glenn, her parents Fred and Eva Oliver and many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. She is survived by her four children, Glenn S. (Shannon) Burns Esq., Marilyn (Lawrence DVM) Bramlage, Bruce (Karen) Burns and Cindy (James) Wysock. She is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Glenn D. Burns MD, Michael McMahon, Jennifer Burns, Joey Marie Went Esq., Matthew Bramlage, Megan Smyth, Randi Michelle Burns, Kyle Burns, Brittany Nett, Chris Wysock, and Kellie Wysock. Betty was also blessed to have 14 great grandchildren, who lovingly called her “granny,” and gave her smiles for days! Due to Coronavirus precautions visitation will be by request only on Saturday November 21st at Milward Funeral Home in Lexington, Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Nicholasville Baptist Church at 131 South Main St., Nicholasville, Kentucky 40356.
This is the best obituary I have ever read, full of joy and great legacies! Betty was the sweetest! She will be missed at Church. 🙏
Cindy What a wonderful walk down memory lane! May God hold Betty in His hands from here to eternity and bless you and all your family.
Sending thoughts and prayers to Glen, Marilyn, Bruce, and Cindy at this difficult time. I can't believe the last resident of the 906 house has passed. I loved your Mom with all my heart and know how important she was/is to all of you! She lived an amazing life filled with family and love, and fun! Reading her obituary made me smile, remembering the stories and thinking back to all those years in Ark City. Wonderful memories of a wonderful woman!
Our thoughts are with you. Betty was an amazing person who brought joy to everyone that was blessed to know her!
Celebrating a full and wonderful life while also grieving the loss of this wonderful woman for your family. Love to you and yours Cindy!!
Hi everyone! That was so lovely to read . My heart is with you all. To make to 92. She knew she was loved by everyone.