Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.
On July 17th the world lost a most uniquely beautiful, social person, Colleen Burden. Colli, as most people knew her, was born Marjorie Colleen Kelly on October 1951. She, her sister Joan and brother, who died at age twelve, had M.D. a rare genetic problem that weakens the skeletal muscles. This left Colli’s and Joanie’s brains compensating in mentally active lives, making up for their lack of physical mobility. Colli grew up around ideas presented to her by her intellectually active parents, magazines, informational TV programs and newspapers. Colli’s dad often put her and her sister in the back seat of their car and took them for outing drives around Lincoln and regularly to drive-inns to eat at. She took two early vacations with her parents that expanded her horizons. Colli had public home school teachers take her through high school, offering flexibility to take advanced and alternative studies. An almost daily interaction occurred with many close interesting family friends that made frequent pilgrimages to their parent’s home. She grew up communication nearly all with adults. Colli started without help making photographic oil paintings as an expression of her sense of beauty, to the time she could no longer support the brushes. Colli grew up literally daily sitting and working from her bed until the age of twenty-six when she got her first wheel chair and moved out with more independent mobility into the larger world. Colli then traveled everywhere with her husband Jim, coast to coast in her wheel chair on Amtrak, airplane, commercial truck and van trips, seeing most of the US in great detail. Colli met and conversed with tens of thousands of people selling everything to them doing interview and cold call work and being a receptionist with three companies and the Nebraska Game and Parks where she worked for 23 years. Colli worked hard, often holding down two jobs to make ends meet. Her life was full of thousands of adventures, struggles and activities of all kinds. Colli loved art and beautiful things, starting the Bed and Breakfast to “offer beauty to other people”, in her words. Colli loved people and this love and this love and interest she took in the details of their lives will be remembered by thousands who had the joy of meeting her joyful life. Colli is the last surviving member of her father’s family. Colli is survived by the members of the Jim Burden family and all the hundreds of friends who’s lives she personally touched and added to. Colli we will greatly miss the irreplaceable unique you.
There will be a memorial service and picnic for Colli at
Westview, her home of 38 years, on a date as yet to be decided in the next few
Alternative Funeral and Cremation Services
245 North 27th Street, Suite B, Lincoln, NE
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