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McDonald County Obituaries for Jan. 5, 2023

January 5, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Erma Jean Stratton Bird

March 26, 1927

Dec. 11, 2022

"Jean," as she was usually known, died December 11, 2022. She was born 95 years before that on March 26th, 1927.

She was the fourth child of Missouri farmers Earl and Agnes (Morris) Stratton. She graduated from Anderson, Missouri, high school in 1945. Being a teenager throughout the four years of WWII affected her profoundly and even in her last days she still felt bruised by it. Following high school she attended the University of Missouri and then married Grant Milford Bird on June 1st, 1947. They had one son, Eldon Grant Bird. As the wife of a military pilot she followed along at his posting in Germany, where he had twice earlier been a POW, and several other postings across the U.S. She became very interested in flying and took lessons but unfortunately had to give them up -- just one lesson shy of her licensing -- when Grant was posted to another base.

She graduated from the College of Marin, Kentfield, California, with a B.S. Degree of Arts and an Associate Degree of Science. She also earned a Registered Nurse degree from the California Board of Nursing and a Public Health Nurse Certificate. Jean also received a B.S. in nursing from Sonoma State University. She remained active in nursing until the pandemic put a halt to that when she was 92 years young.

Jean also worked as an adult education instructor for Tamalpais Union High School District and Community Education Instructor for the College of Marin.

She was the author of five or more deeply detailed family histories, two of which are at the Library of Congress. All of these histories she illustrated herself. She left behind a very grateful family but a sad family also because not only have we lost our Aunt Jean, but also our family historian. She had an incredible memory (and you'd better not question it!).

Her artistry earned her a trophy and several ribbons for an oil painting at the Otero County Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She was a Gray Lady with the Red Cross in hospitals at Spangdahlen Air Force Base, Germany, and Hamilton Air Force Base in California.

And she was a treasured member and volunteer of the Marin Medical Rescue Team from their founding until the pandemic called a halt to that when she was only 92 and felt she had much more to give. A family member used to call her The Energizer Bunny because she just kept going and going and going.

She was also a treasured member of the New Bethel (Missouri) Historical Society and the McDonald County (Missouri) Historical Museum. She sent much historical information to them and generously donated money and family items she'd kept from earlier generations that were precious to her as well as having historical meaning.

She loved her Lord, her family, her friends, gardening, researching for her books, painting and sketching, vanilla ice cream cones, French fries, donut holes, fried chicken, travel and fun.

Her husband and her only child predeceased her as did her parents, her brother, Captain Eldon F. Stratton who was Killed in Action over the Pacific in 1943, and her sisters Helen Cook and Earline Scott, leaving her family tree with only one ornament on it. Now there are none -- except of course for the niece, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and an ever-expanding number of great-great-grand nieces and nephews. She remained close to many of them.

Memorial services for her will be held at 11AM on January 7th, 2022, at the Novato United Methodist Church, 1473 S. Novato Boulevard, Novato, CA; and at 3 PM on January 9 at the McDonald County Historical Society Museum, 400 N. Main Street, Pineville, Missouri.

She will be buried beside her husband, son, and parents at Peace Valley Cemetery, Anderson, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Novato United Methodist Church.


Brandon Daniel Burns

Jan. 12, 1991

Jan. 1, 2023

Brandon Daniel Burns, 31, of Anderson, Mo., died Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, at Truman Healthcare Center in Lamar, Mo.

He was born Jan. 12, 1991, in Gravette, Ark., to Danny and Terry (Slagle) Burns. He was a lifelong area resident and a 2009 graduate of McDonald County High School. He enjoyed fishing, playing video games and loved animals. He was a very special young man with a big heart who had a deep love and understanding of Christ.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Terry Burns; and two brothers, Richard Burns, Greg Wilson.

He is survived by his father, Danny Burns (Sally) of Cassville, Mo.; two brothers, Mark Shelton (Jamie) of Indian, James Shelton of Neosho, Mo.; a sister, Amanda O'Hearon (Shanne) of Anderson, Mo.

Funeral services are 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in the Anderson Chapel of the Ozark Funeral Homes with James Crews officiating. Burial will follow at New Bethel Cemetery.

Arrangements are by Ozark Funeral Home in Anderson, Mo.

photo Burns

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