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Barbara Alice Gardner Burns

Barbara was born on December 18, 1919 in Ree Heights, South Dakota to Charles Whiting Gardner and Ruth Butler Gardner. She died peacefully in her sleep on February 15, 2017.

She is survived by her children, Patricia (Daniel) Schultz, Susan (Robert) Strini, Jeffry Burns, Paul (Heidi) Burns, and Christopher Burns; grandchildren, Max Strini, Lydia (Hannah Holmes-Robbins) Strini, Matthew (Kassi) Schultz, Alexander Burns, and Roxanna Burns; and great-granddaughters, Ryleigh Clark and Hailee Schultz. She was preceeded in death by her parents; her brother, Charles W. Gardner, Jr.; and her husband, Herbert J. Burns.

Besides her family, her passions in life were music and art. She majored in piano at Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota and played classical piano all her life. Her aunt, Margaret Gardner, was an oil and pastel artist and inspired Barbara to take up painting when her children were school age. She took painting courses through adult education in St. Louis and Rockford, and later at workshops at the Scottsdale Artists' School. Barbara became an accomplished watercolor and acrylic artist and won awards in numerous St. Louis and Rockford art shows. She made many wonderful friends who shared in her love for the arts.

A memorial service will be at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 24, 2017, at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd., Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Ave. Rockford with Rev. William T. Dahlberg officiating. Visitation will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. prior to the service in Fred C. Olson Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103.

Condolences & Shared Memories (3)

  1. Gloria Henderson

    Barbara and I became friends through the Northside Art in St. Louis. We painted and exhibited together until her family moved to Rockford. We kept in touch with (real) letters for a while, and with occasional postcards through the years. She is often in my thoughts, and I valued her intelligence and creativity. I do now and always will miss her. My sympathy to her family.

  2. Jean Apgar

    Barbara was a friend for many years. We exhibited our paintings together often. I am happy to have several of her marvelous paintings to keep her memory alive forever.

  3. Daphne Cooper

    I enjoyed many memories of painting together in art classes and with a group of artist friends. It gives me great joy to have two of Barbara's paintings on my walls -- one from her early years of painting and another more recent. She was always a great encouragement to me in my artistic efforts and a good friend. My condolences to all the family and especially her son who cared so well for her in her later years.

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