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Joan Rossiter Burney

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HARTINGTON — Joan Burney, 90, Hartington, - wife, mother, grandmother, writer, columnist and motivational speaker, a woman of great faith, humor and love, friend to everyone who knew her, went gladly home to God July 13, 2019, at Country House in Lincoln.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m., Thursday, with a Vigil at 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Hartington. Visitation will continue Friday, one hour prior to services.

Mass of Christian Burial will be July 19, at 10:30 a.m., at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, with the Rev. Owen Korte officiating.

Burial will be at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Hartington.

Pallbearers will be Scott Schrempp, Al Hoesing, Jay Stockwell, Paul Larsen, Peter Rossiter, and Casey Rossiter.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be scheduled in Lincoln later this year.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home, Hartington.

Memorials may be directed to the Joan Burney Scholarship Fund through the Hartington Community Foundation.

Born in Walthill Oct. 30, 1928, the sixth of Emmett W. and June Rossiter’s seven children, Joan became a proud Hartington resident when her father founded the Bank of Hartington in 1934 and moved the family there.

She attended Holy Trinity Schools and Sept. 13, 1947, married Howard Keith “Kip” Burney. They settled on a cattle farm near Hartington where they raised six children. Joan became involved in numerous community organizations, including directing the choir at Holy Trinity Church, directing plays and later counseling students at the high school.

She remained a Hartington resident until she was in her 80s, then moved to Lincoln to live with daughter Juli.

Multi-talented and involved in many things, family always

came first for Joan. She learned that to be a mentor to her children she also needed to develop her own identity and talents. She began her 40-year career as a columnist at the Cedar County News after her children all were in school, and over time more than a dozen additional publications also carried her work. As a 38-year-old mother she returned to college and earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Combining her education with her life experience and her deep curiosity about people around her, she soon became a motivational speaker with a wide audience. She also compiled a three-book series of her columns, and coauthored two books on sharing faith with children.

Joan believed God gives each of us our talents and expects us to use them. She used hers to the fullest to share faith and laughter while encouraging others that while they could not always control the people or troubles around them, they could control their own reactions and use humor to give themselves a new perspective on events. Like her father, Emmett, and husband, Kip, Joan loved the Hartington community, and was deeply involved in it. Always willing – and wanting – to help, Joan was an activist, advocate, friend, mentor and cheerleader for many, a woman people called when help was needed. Kip often joked that while other people answer the phone “Hello,” his wife answered, “Yes, I’ll do it!”

Over time Joan’s talents and contributions were recognized with a number of awards. Among them: 1991 Nebraska Mother of the Year, 1991 National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc.; 1993 National Federation of Press Women’s National Communicator of Achievement, and 1995 Hartington Community Service Award. In 2015 the Cedar County News honored Joan with a yearly Joan Rossiter Burney Outstanding Communicator Award for a Cedar Catholic High School graduating senior, and she was named to the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame.

Joan is survived by six children and their spouses, Robert, Cambria, Calif.; Bill, Pismo Beach, Calif.; John (LouAnn), Lincoln; Juli, Lincoln; Tom (Pam), Norfolk; and Chuck (Kathy), Elkhorn; grandchildren Kate, Abbie and Jayme Burney, and Marc Abraham Burney-Webb; and great-grandson, Darien Fuller; plus nieces and nephews, and numerous others who loved her.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Emmett and June Rossiter; husband, Howard Keith Burney; infant son, David; brothers, Lawrence and Vincent Rossiter; and sisters, Mary Gengler, Connie Livingstone, June Stockwell and Anne Millea.