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Obituary

Betty Jean Burnell, 59, of Machesney Park, passed away on March 6, 2018. She was born on November 2, 1958, in Rockford, the daughter of Gerald R. and Georgianna (McCauley) Jones. Betty graduated from Harlem High School and received her Associates in Arts degree at Rock Valley College. She was a secretary for Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church. Betty married Donald L. Burnell on July 19, 1980 at Fisher Chapel in Rockford.
Survivors include her husband, Donald; daughter, Jennifer (Jeff Seay); son, Nathan (Brooke Stuart); grandchildren, Everette and Mikayla; brother, Brad (Debbie) Jones; nieces, Faith, Beth, and Rebekah Jones, and Shelby Burnell; nephew, Andrew Burnell; mother-in-law, Jan Burnell; and brother-in-law, Paul (Terri) Burnell. Predeceased by parents; and father-in-law, Vernon Burnell. Special thanks to Tara Shale, Vicki Dean, and Nicole Wieman from Heartland Hospice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, March 19, 2018 at Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church, 5183 Pebble Creek Trail, Loves Park with Pastor Mitch Saylor officiating. Visitation will be from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service. Memorials may be made to Forest Hills Evangelical Free Church or Heartland Hospice, 363 Financial Court #300, Rockford, IL 61107.

Condolences & Shared Memories (15)

  1. Joan McCauley

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Betty Jean. She was a very kind and loving mother and friend. My prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time. May God Bless and take care of you.

  2. Sharon Cole

    I find myself still checking my phone for a text and happy greeting from Betty. I miss her so much and all the love and laughter she brought to my life. She was much more than a cousin - she was a kindred spirit. When the time comes for us to be reunited, she promised that she'll be waiting, waving and cheering, and there to take my hand. Rest in peace dear sweet BettyJean. I love you.

  3. Curt Sanders

    Don, I am so sorry for your loss. Her bubbly personality will be deeply missed.

  4. Brad Jones

    As I said, I'll see you later one way or another. And I will. Love you Sis.

  5. Carol Landis

    So very sorry for your loss, Our thoughts and prayers are with all of Bettys family and friends❤

  6. Ryan Corbett

    The Burnells moved next door to me when I was around 4th grade, and I lived next to them until I graduated college. While I did not see her as much as some of the other neighbors (mostly because I was so much older than her kids) I will always remember her kindness. She frequently brought over baked goodies when my mother was having her health problems, and she was the only one on the block who was still laughing at my "Grey Poupon jokes" 10 years after they were no longer funny. She was truly an ideal neighbor.

  7. Julie Schmit-Albin

    Betty was a bright spirit! I enjoyed my chats with her at Camp Mak A Dream and was there when she climbed the wall with everyone cheering, “Go Betty!” I have no doubt she is soaring with the Angels now. My condolences to Don, her family and friends.

  8. Joye gill

    I meet Betty at camp mak a dream. Our church had made 3 prayer shawl. I asked her if she would like one. She said she had 1 and i should give it to someone else, but she would take the prayers. Prayers for all of you.

  9. Deborah Binder

    I met Betty at the Ovarian Cancer Survivors Retreat at Camp Mak-a-Dream in Montana. She was so full of energy and humor and had wonderful stories to share. I am glad that our paths crossed. I know that you have lots of memories to help keep her close to your hearts. Blessings.

  10. Connie McGinnis

    Betty will be missed, she was so full of life, she made our world a better place to live in, She loved the our Lord Jesus Christ, and kept the faith. God be with you during this time.

  11. Terri Burnell

    The photo captures Betty's fun and loving spirit. I've been so blessed to have had such a wonderful sister-in-law and friend over the past 26 years. Even during some of the most difficult moments of her final journey on this earth, Betty was most concerned about making sure others knew how much she loved them. I know she's in heaven rejoicing with loved ones who've gone before her, and with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I miss you so much. Love you to heaven and back, Betty! Until we meet again....

  12. Judy Keltz Dray

    We may not have the same parents but you're one of the best li'l sisters I ever had...the same goes for Pat. Hard to believe 20 years of friendship is over already, at least for a time. When we join each other in heaven we can start up again. You are missed here on Earth but I wouldn't wish you back...you suffered enough with cancer and you have it no more...Praise God. I'll be there for Don and kids if needed...see you someday my dear, dear, friend. luvu FTS

  13. Sarah Barmore

    Thinking of your family during this difficult time. May the love of Family and Friends surround you now and in the days ahead. My sincere condolence . Co-worker of Paul's

  14. Carole E. Mayer

    Dearest neighbor, I'm want to extend my deepest condolences to all of you. Betty was the nicest neighbor I enjoyed my time with her. I'm glad that she got to see Jennifer's newborn baby boy. She shared with me it meant so much for her to see his nursery and everything in it. Betty was a wonderful Christian woman, I know she is in the Lord's arms in Heaven. Don I gave my promise to Betty to help you through the grief process and I will. I'm glad for Betty that she is in Heaven with no pain. I strongly believe that there is NO FINER place than Heaven. God Bless You her family Today,Tomorrow and Always In God's Care Lovingly, Carole Mayer

  15. Rich & Debbie Marzano

    We are honored that we got to be friends with Betty and Don. Betty and I ( Debbie) shared the same birthday month. We got to celebrate a couple or times once we found out. We had good times and lots of laughs together. Betty was a great friend and so very funny. She loved the Lord and it showed up until the very end. We love you and miss you. Rich and Debbie Marzano


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