Lincoln Alternative Funeral and Cremation Services

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.

 Obituary Post Date: 

Nellie “Nel” E. Burns, 85, of Lincoln, NE, March 26, 1938 – May 5, 2023.


Nellie (Nel) E. Burns joined her family in heaven on May 5, 2023. She unites with her parents, Lewis & Velma (Caswell) Grames; five brothers, Robert, Lewis, Malon, Clayton, and Kenneth; son, Charles; daughter, Beth Ann; and grandson, Andrew.
Nellie Elizabeth Grames was born March 26, 1938, in West Lakefield Twp., Michigan. She was proud to be a “Yooper Girl.” As she grew up, she worked hard to help her young widowed mother as the family pulled together to build a house, raise gardens and pay expenses. Nellie knew what was expected, developing a strong work ethic which became her mantra for her life.

In the midst of the work, Nellie learned handwork – those skills that added to the household so there were clothes to be worn and pretty cloths on tables and around the house throughout her life. Her talent in sewing and embroidery created clothes for herself, her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, and was even extended to their dolls. A talent that was guided and limited by the desire to have everything be “just right.” Throughout her life she used her talent to create costumes for her children, her grandchildren, and her church. In her later years, her talents in both sewing and knitting were used to create many items for organizations in the Lincoln and Omaha areas including Sewing For Babies, Friendship Home, and Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Four years after her marriage to Gordon Burns, the family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. There, Nellie attended the American College of Beauty, earning her license in the early 1960s.


When the family moved “back north,” she opened Nel’s Beauty Salon. She was a cosmetologist for over 30 years and loved her patrons. Many of them became friends. This helped sustain her when she was on her own again. She officially retired from work in 2001 and moved to Lincoln, Nebraska.

Another of Nellie’s talents was painting. She joined a painting group while living in the U.P. , making friends while honing her skills in oil, painting the many scenes that were familiar to her. Some of her paintings hang in her church’s headquarters in Independence, Missouri. Others are spread throughout family and friends’ homes.
Nellie made the most of every place she lived. She loved to garden – mostly flowers, but a few vegies included. She was involved in drama during high school as well as later in Germfask. These were fond memories for her. In her final residence, Nellie quickly became involved with the social activities including a crafting group and Friday evening vespers. She also was passionate about her involvement with ministry in her church, Community of Christ, where her ministry focused on children. She served her church in many capacities from her teenage years through her official “retirement” in 2022.

Nellie is survived by her children, April (Rick) Morgan-Salo, Eva (Shawn) Bachman , and Dusty (Veronica) Burns; grandchildren, Jalyn Morgan (Mickey McCann), Phillip (Courtney) Morgan, and Erin (Donny) Mankee, Eliza (Justin) Reker, Cassandra (Brian Wirth) Bachman, and nine great-grandchildren; brothers, Lester (Lisa) Grames and Floyd (Janet) Grames; sisters, Maxine (John) Holmberg Novak, Delores Fitzpatrick, many nieces and nephews, and friends.

Memorial services in Lincoln will be held June 3rd at 10AM at the Community of Christ church.

A graveside service followed by a memorial gathering at Round Lake is being planned in Michigan on Saturday, July 1st.

If you wish to honor her memory, it is suggested to do so with a youth-oriented program of your choice.

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