KNOX, NY- Kathleen Page Burnett, 95, died peacefully in her sleep at her home on June 30. Born to Carl and Edith (Morse) Page, Mrs. Burnett was raised, with her sister Virginia, in Jacksonville, VT, which was always “home.” She graduated from Whitingham High School in 1940.
In 1941, she married her high school sweetheart, Nelson (Stub) Burnett, a happy union that lasted for 46 years. Mr. and Mrs. Burnett had two daughters, Zenith Rae and Avis Anne. Mrs. Burnett was interested in her community and found diverse ways to contribute. She donated gallons of blood and for 10 years headed the canteen which fed donors.
Mrs. Burnett held every administrative office in the Jacksonville Community Church at least once, sang in the choir, wrote a history of the church, spearheaded fundraisers to support the church and help build the Sunday School, started the Hospitality Committee, and even preached when asked. She and her husband were active in the church-affiliated Couples Club, in which she played many roles, her favorite being creating interesting and humorous programs.
Mrs. Burnett co-chaired the annual game supper for 15 years, and used her knack for leadership and organizing, combined with her interest in music and performing, to create and produce several variety show fundraisers for the Lions Club and local families. In 1976, she and her husband co-chaired the Whitingham Old Home Week. In the mid-80s, Mrs. Burnett discovered another passion: being her own show. She created the character of “Aunt Effie,” a daft old woman in her late 80s who “tells it like it is.” Aunt Effie was invited to roast many townspeople on festive occasions, and retired only when Mrs. Burnett’s actual age came close to Aunt Effie’s.
In 1992, she started the weekly breakfast club for women. Mrs. Burnett moved from Jacksonville to Knox, NY, in 2002 to be closer to her other life’s passion: her family. She was very proud of her role as elder of five generations. Mrs. Burnett was a unique individual who, while enjoying the simple things in life, delighted in finding ways to laugh and bring a smile to others’ faces. Her leadership and organizational abilities benefited many organizations. She took good care of her family and found numerous ways to take care of others in her community. Mrs. Burnett left her special mark on the world, which is a better place because of her. Her identity was as a Vermont Yankee, which she claimed proudly.
Mrs. Burnett is survived by daughters Zenith Burnett Gladieux and husband Russell, of Berne, NY, and Avis Burnett, of Rexford, NY; granddaughter Nicole Gladieux and husband Daniel Richmond, of Altamont, NY; great-granddaughter Aja and husband Ian Young, of Woodside, NY; great-grandson Cal Richmond-Gladieux and wife Kristina, and great-great-grandchildren Makenzie and Gabriel, of Berne, NY.
A celebration of Mrs. Burnett’s life will be held on Saturday, August 18, from 12:30 to 4 pm, at her former home, the current Candlelight Bed & Breakfast, located on Route 100, in Jacksonville, VT. A buffet lunch will be served starting at 1 pm. At 2:30 pm, there will be a program honoring her life.
Mrs. Burnett will be laid to rest next to her husband at Sadawga Cemetery, in Whitingham, VT, with a private ceremony. In keeping with her life philosophy, friends and family are encouraged to come to eat and enjoy stories and memories, and to bring any pictures or stories to share. Contributions in Mrs. Burnett’s memory may be made to the Jacksonville Community Church or the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry, care of Covey, Allen and Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215, Wilmington, VT, 05363.