Burnice Aline Merrifield
A graveside memorial service for former Lamar resident currently of Scottsdale, Arizona, Burnice Aline Merrifield was held at 11:00AM, Saturday, October 22, 2016 at the Fairmount Cemetery in Lamar with Reverend Kathy Leathers officiating.
Per Burnice’s request cremation has taken place and there was no visitation.
Burnice Aline Merrifield was the youngest of five children born to Barnett and Eula Yeates. She was born May 27, 1922 and raised in Lamar, Colorado where she lived for forty-five years. She passed away on June 3, 2016 at the age of 94.
She married William Harold Merrifield and they had three children, Tanya Labertew, Terry Merrifield and Pamela Skinner.
After Harold’s death in 1971 she moved a few years later to Colorado Springs, Colorado where she met and married Bud Knowles. They resided in Colorado Springs and Palm Springs, California. After his death she moved to Sacramento, California where her daughter Pamela lived.
In 2002 she married Charles Robertson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later they retired to Scottsdale, Arizona. Charles passed away in 2014.
While Harold was serving in the Navy in WWII, Burnice lived in Denver with her two children, Tanya and Terry. She worked as the Secretary to the President of Montgomery Wards from 1942 to 1945. Always very artistic she also enrolled in art classes at the University of Denver where she took figure drawing.
After Harold returned from his naval duty they moved to Holly for a couple of years where he was a operator and owner of Merrifield Texaco Wholesale and Retail. They then moved the business to Lamar and Harold opened three additional Texaco stations and also opened Harold’s Court. There they raised their three children.
Burnice worked at Lamar Junior High School as secretary to the principle, Lou Campbell, for five years. After moving to Colorado Springs she eventually managed the Kissing Camels Golf Clothing Boutique. In Sacramento she works with her daughter, Pamela, in her Art Gallery.
She was an active member in the Lamar Baptist Church and instrumental in designing the new Baptist Church on south Main Street. She also belonged to Clio Club, an organization of women that started the Kindergarten School program in Lamar and Melvin School. They were committed to raising money for different groups in need and in helping to improve the community. In Scottsdale she belonged to the Mountview Presbyterian Church where she in now memorized in the garden there.
She was residing at McDowell Village, in Scottsdale, Arizona, an independent living complex at the time of her death.
In addition to her three children; Tanya Labertew, Terry Merrifield and Pamela Skinner, she leaves an older brother, Tom Yeates, (97), three grandchildren, Traci Wade, Sara Ellsworth and John Merrifield; and three great-grandchildren, Jake, Seth and Ian Ellsworth.
She was loved by her family and those that knew her and was admired for her strength and resilience in facing challenges through her many losses. Always recreating herself at different stages in her life and moving forward with a positive attitude. She had a wide range of friends of all ages through her many life experiences that made her much younger in her thinking than her years. She was open to change and embraced what came her way with dignity.
She was admired for her fashion sense and her decorating and artistic talent. Every icecicle on the Christmas tree hung perfectly with beautifully wrapped and decorated packages. A comment from a cousin was said, “I didn’t care what was in the package it was always so beautiful on the outside”. She used her creative talents in her home, sewing wonderful clothes for us as well as our dolls, and one evening gown that almost made her throw out the sewing machine! She was always redecorating, stenciling on sheets before you could buy them with patterns, decorating birthday cakes with amazing creative toppings, and sending care packages off to college (that looked like Christmas all over again).
She was always there for her family. She wanted her children to enjoy their childhood. She said “you have plenty of time to be an adult with responsibilities and childhood passes so quickly.” And she did all that she could to make that happen. Each holiday and birthday was festive with a special gift or surprise. She was always willing to take us to “drag main” before we had a driver’s license, follow the team bus outside of town to wish them good luck, with many screaming teenage girls “go faster, get closer, etc.” And take us to drive over Dead Man’s drop! (For those of you that might not remember it was just a dirt road that had a huge drop off on the other side of a small hill in the middle of the road) but it was great fun at the time!
She was a stay at home mom until Pamela, the last child went off to college. When her son Terry was in middle school she started working part time at a clothing store. One day hurrying home for her lunch she was greeted by him as he was leaving to go to school, he was home for lunch and no mom there, she was just coming in, and he said, “I don’t think I’m going to like this new program.” So she decided that probably wasn’t going to work very well and hung up her career for awhile!
She had a wonderful sense of humor, which she maintained to the end. She was full of energy and life. She loved football and of course, was a huge Denver Broncos fan. And Peyton Manning she adored. She knew all the players names and the position they played as well as on the other teams. Always knew the football schedule as to who was playing who and all the outcomes. She looked forward to the fall because that was football season. The Broncos won the Super Bowl which would be the last football game she would see them play. But what a way to end it for her.
Like most parents ours wanted the best for their children. Mom and Dad made childhood fun. Growing up in Lamar was fun. It was a thriving community at the time and the memories of those days are very precious. We had the love of a wonderful man and a very strong woman. You can hardly think of one without the other. They were always supportive and always there for us. They were proud parents and taught us to lead with integrity and kindness. We knew we were loved and appreciated all the opportunities and sacrifices they made for us. We grew up with a lot of laughter in our house as many of you knew our dad who was quite the character.
They are together now and though we will always miss them terribly, the memories of what they gave to us will be forever. There are too many to even say but they are all in our hearts and souls until the time we are with them again.