Lola Virgene Davis Burnham
Lola Virgene Davis Burnham, 81, of Virginia, died at 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 18, at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Buchanan-Cody Funeral Home in Virginia. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Grace Lutheran Church in Virginia with the Rev. Pam Mitcham officiating. Burial will follow in Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Virginia.
Memorial gifts may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, the Virginia Memorial Public Library or Clayville Historic Site. Condolences may be sent online at www.buchanancody.com .
Mrs. Burnham was born July 23, 1936, on her grandparents’ farm, which was part of the Treadway Homestead in rural Cass County. She was the daughter of Helen Grace Davis Fischer and Robert Beemer.
She married Charles Edward Burnham on Nov. 7, 1954, at Grace Lutheran Church in Virginia. The couple began their married life in San Diego, Calif., where Mr. Burnham was stationed with the U.S. Navy. After Mr. Burnham transferred to the U.S. Air Force, the couple lived at Air Force bases in Illinois, Texas, Japan, Indiana, Arizona, California and New Mexico. Mrs. Burnham also held down the family fort two times in her hometown of Virginia while Mr. Burnham served tours of duty in Vietnam. They left military life behind in 1973 when Mr. Burnham retired and they moved to their home, which she called Dun Movin,’ in Virginia. Wherever they lived, they made life an adventure for their four children.
Mrs. Burnham was a homemaker in the literal sense of the word, establishing roots and transplanting a sense of family ties wherever the family went. She was a leader of her children’s Girl Scout and Cub Scout troops and taught Sunday School. She was a member of the NCO Wives Club wherever the family was stationed. She took an active interest in people’s lives and retained lifelong friends from high school through many military postings and maintained an active correspondence with friends far and near.
She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Virginia and served on the church council. She was a member of the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She served on the Virginia Memorial Public Library Board. A 1954 graduate of Virginia High School, she was a past president and active member of the alumni association. She also volunteered at the Clayville historic site near Pleasant Plains, portraying a pioneer woman and helping with the site’s educational programs for area students.
She enjoyed sewing, knitting, embroidery, quilting, crafting, and working in her yard. Her hands were always busy but never too busy to soothe a frightened child or a fussy grandchild.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and one grandson, Patrick Burnham.
She is survived by: daughter Leona Burnham and her son, Daniel, of Springfield; daughter Lola Burnham of Charleston and her children, Thomas McElwee of Toulon, Joseph and Christine McElwee of Elgin, Matthew and Christine McElwee of Chicago, and Sarah McElwee of Charleston; son Stanley Burnham and his wife, Penny, of Jacksonville and their daughter, Abigail and her fiancé Brandon Coulombe of Macomb; son David Burnham of Nebraska, and his children Jacob of Nebraska, and Clara, Kaylyn and Andrew of North Carolina; one great-grandson, Everett McElwee of Elgin; and nephews Patrick O’Brien and Rick Burnham, both of Maryland.