Jo Ann Burgess

Age 88, of Lansing, MI, passed away August 9, 2019. She was born March 8, 1931, in Dimondale, MI, to the late Hazen and Francis Coburn.

Jo Ann was a devoted wife to her loving husband, Jim. She loved round and square dancing, golf (and had a hole-in-one!), and waterskiing on Horsehead Lake in Mecosta. She thoroughly loved her family and enjoyed spending time with her nieces and nephews. Jo Ann was very loved by them as well!

For 24 years, Jo Ann and Jim wintered in Arizona, where they served the community in many ways, and made many friends.

Jo Ann’s greatest concern in death was that her family was cared for. She very much looked forward to getting into Heaven and seeing her family members.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Vernon “Jim” Burgess; nephew, Steve (Rosa) Bishop; nieces, Nancy (Fred) Rohrbacher, Cheryl (Dennis) Raymont, Rhonda (Jack) Church, Susan (Mickey) Matero, and Ronda Ingram; sister-in-law, Gloria VanKirk; and special lifelong friend, Betty Speaks. She was preceded in death by her parents; her two sisters, Virginia Parsons and Ada Bishop; sister-in-law, Doris (Leon) Gabbert; Nephew, David Craft; and other extended family members.

A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice.

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8 Messages to “Jo Ann Burgess

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Nancy Rohrabacher
August 9, 2019 at 4:34 pm

I love you so much Aunt Jo and knowing that I will see you again gives me strength and comfort.

Trudy Maves
August 9, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Dear Uncle Jim, and family,
Our hearts are broken for the loss of Aunt Jo. Our hearts full of the love she gave, unequivocally, to each of us. Her deep and ever present love, smile, laughter, sense of humor, beauty and style will be sorely missed.
We believe in someone greater than us. Light beats darkness every time. Love wins…ALWAYS. All our love, Trudy and Allen Maves and family (Kari, Joseph and Adison Erdmann, Douglas, Ashley, Weston, Emerie Hrave, and Jolene Maves).

Karen Thweatt
August 10, 2019 at 9:59 am

I will miss the beaming duo of Joann and Jim. I always look forward to my visits home “ Michigan” from Texas. Our lunch dates with endless chatter and laughter fills my heart with great memories. You have always been an inspiring couple as well as my favorite aunt and uncle. You are loved. I will miss you Aunt Jo.

Karen Rohrabacher Thweatt
August 10, 2019 at 10:17 am

Aunt Jo and Uncle Jim.
I will miss the beaming duo known as Jo and Jim.
I have always looked forward to my trips back home
( Michigan) from Texas. Our weekly visits with the lunch bunch, the endless chatter and laughter.
You have been such an inspiration to me for your kind, loving, fun youthful love that you have for each other. Friends. It is what every marriage should be.

Tom Gauthier
August 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm

We (the Gauthier family) grew up next door to Jim and Jo Ann. Our mother, Eunice, and Jo Ann would often sit on their front porch or patio and sip iced tea while catching up on the latest goings-on. Inevitably one or more of us kids would join in (or butt in depending on your perspective) and Jo Ann always greeted us warmly. She patiently listened to the various sibling squabbles that our mother had to know about immediately, and chuckled at our childhood anecdotes. As a young boy I personally got a kick out of Jim goading her as he washed his car in the driveway or did other chores telling me “a man’s work is never done” while making darn sure Jo Ann was in earshot.

Only a few short months ago our father Joe passed away and we had to sell the house on Syringa Dr after over 60 years of living there. I’m sure Jim and Jo Ann witnessed it all having seven children raised next door. Change is inevitable, but these guys hung in there a loooong time! These people knew what being a part of a neighborhood was all about.

Jim, Jo Ann will be missed! Thank you both for being great neighbors!

Best wishes to you and your family,
Tom Gauthier

Nancy Holcomb
August 12, 2019 at 4:42 pm

Jim & Family

The entire Gauthier family is thinking of you. We were fortunate to have such good neighbors for all those years! Lots of great memories that make me smile…. I loved watching you and Jo Ann, along with my parents, being all dressed up for square dancing. I enjoyed spying on all of you during the late night cookout’s after square dancing (we used to swipe hotdogs off the grill when no one was looking). We were only semi-irritated when we found out you and Jo Ann were complicit in hiding our Christmas presents at your house when we got old enough to snoop around our house. But mostly, I relished the hundreds of confab’s (a favorite Jim word) over the fence or across the driveway! I hope you know how much all of us appreciate your kindness and friendship for so many years and how much Jo Ann will be missed.


Nancy Holcomb

Thomas Taylor
August 13, 2019 at 12:02 pm

I remember Jim and Jo Ann as our neighbors on hoehn court when I was a young boy. I hated too see them move to Lansing. But I was glad to have them leave there dog Sandy to live with us. Son of Bob and Betty Taylor. My wife and I still live in Dimondale.

Ruth Diehm
September 11, 2019 at 2:09 am

Jim, I’m so sorry for your loss. I went by your home and saw that you moved. Take care.


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