Life Story for
Wilhelmina Elizabeth Burr (Kissam)
Wilhelmina Elizabeth Burr died peacefully Friday, February 7, 2014 after a short illness at St. Luke’s Medical Center near Ketchum, Idaho. She was born July 7, 1914 on her family’s farm on Pierce’s Road in Newburgh, New York. Her parents were Richard V. Kissam, Sr. and Minnie E. Kissam (Whitlow). Willie grew up in Newburgh with two sisters and a brother, Marie Keesler, Richard V. Kissam, Jr. and Cornelia V. Early. She attended West Street School and Newburgh Free Academy.
On July 13, 1934, she married the love of her life, Charles “Kenny” Burr in Goshen, New York. They had three children, Thomas K. Burr, Janice Steele, and Christine Nelson (David). She kept her home and family in order for many years and enjoyed her pinochle card club and bowling. When life was tough, she worked harder and made ends meet.
In 1968, Willie and Ken, in search of some wide-open spaces, moved to Idaho. They settled in Idaho Falls close to Tom’s family. Willie soon found a clerical job with the Idaho National Lab and enjoyed riding the bus to the site for eight or nine years. Every weekend was spent, Nordic skiing, fishing, camping, exploring Idaho, gold panning, arrowhead hunting, bowling, and canoeing.
When Ken passed away in 1991 Willie settled her affairs in Idaho Falls and moved to Hailey. The Hailey Park Townhouses became her new home until recently when she moved to Safe Haven in Bellevue, Idaho.
Willie will be missed by those who knew her and called her Mom or Grammy as she never tired of giving us advice, love, understanding, and encouragement. She had the gift for making us all happy. She leaves her three children, Tom Burr (Paula), Janice Steele, and Chris Nelson (David), seven grandchildren, Leslie Nelson (Paul), Tom, Jr., Tim Burr (Jennifer), B.J. Steele, Bobby Steele, Matt Nelson (Angela), and Kenny Nelson (Shanell). There are also 17 great grandchildren, 1 great, great grandchild and countless nieces and nephews.