Burney, Mary Lee (Thompson) (February 6, 1924 - January 26, 2005)

Mary Burney

Douglas Budget - February 2, 2005

Funeral services for Mary Lee "Grandma Joe" Burney, 80, were held Jan. 29 at Gorman Funeral Homes-Platte Chapel in Wheatland with Pastor Andy Gudahl of First Christian Church officiating. Interment was at the Wheatland cemetery.

Mrs. Burney died peacefully of natural causes Jan. 26, 2005, at her apartment in Gillette, with her family by her side.

Mary Lee Thompson was born Feb. 6, 1924, to Squire Franklin Thompson and Nellie May (Bibbey)Thompson in Wheatland. She lived near Dwyer until 1926, when the family moved to Missouri, where she attended school in Barnard.

She graduated from high school as class valedictorian in 1941.

She attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College in Maryville, Mo., and began teaching school in Missouri. She moved back to Wyoming in 1954 and worked as a bookkeeper in Wheatland.

On May 12, 1946, she married Joe G. Burney and lived at Harris Park near Laramie Peak, where Joe worked for the Forest Service and ran a saw mill and small ranch. After their four daughters were born, Mrs. Burney returned to teaching in 1955 at the Harris Park School, which was also known as the Burney School since it only had Burney children.

The family moved to Douglas in 1961 while their daughters attended high school. Mrs. Burney worked during the tax season for an accountant in Douglas and also as a substitute teacher. The Burneys moved back to their mountain house after the girls finished high school.

Mrs. Burney worked as a substitute lookout on the Black Mountain Lookout until 1983. After her husband passed away in 1985, she lived in Harris Park during the summers and in Gillette in the winters.

She was a long-time member of Cottonwood Country Club in Wheatland. She enjoyed craft work, playing cards, the mountains, and most of all, spending time with her family.

Mrs. Burney is survived by three daughters, Linda L. Lake and her husband Rick of Gillette, Connie J. Hopper and her husband Dan of Gillette, and Carol S. Harper and her husband Neil of Glenrock; sister Glada Roe and husband Ben of Cheyenne; seven grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren who lovingly called her "Grandma Joe."

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Joe on Oct. 26, 1985; and her daughter Kathy A. Burney.

Pallbearers were Troy Lake, Bret Richendifer, Nicholas Hopper and Christopher Hopper.

Honorary pallbearers were Darby Roe, Steven Roe, Jack Pownall, Don Hullinger and Marvin Nail.

A memorial to Campbell County Memorial Hospice, P.O. Box 3011, Gillette, 82717, would be appreciated by the family.

Gorman Funeral Homes - Platte Chapel of Wheatland was in charge of the arrangements.

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