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Roberta Ellen (Mayes) Burns passed peacefully from this life to the next July 29, 2022. She was born Aug. 12, 1932, to Irene (Taylor) and Emerson Mayes in Evansville, Indiana, the youngest of nine children.
She married Robert L. Burns July 4, 1953, just celebrating their 69th anniversary. Starting their married life after Robert enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, they moved to several Air Force bases before settling in Indiana. They raised five children, primarily in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where Roberta was not only a busy homemaker but also a secretary for the Allen County Cooperative Extension Office and a real estate agent. Some of her dearest friends came from those years in Ft. Wayne, with neighbors and through work.
After a few years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Robert and Roberta moved to Davenport, Iowa, where Roberta immersed herself in community efforts, both charitable and educational, including serving as a volunteer docent at the Davenport Museum of Art (Figge Art Museum).
When Roberta and Robert moved to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, Roberta volunteered as a docent at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (Stanley Museum of Art). She introduced busloads of school children to the art museum in Iowa City through field trips she helped coordinate and lead. Also in Mt. Pleasant, she volunteered with the Old Threshers Reunion, took part in church and civic efforts and belonged to P.E.O., a philanthropic organization.
After Robert retired in 1996, they sold their house in Mt. Pleasant, lived and traveled in a motorhome. They explored a number of our nation’s most beautiful sites – including national and state parks. They also spent a good deal of time with family, including their five children, their grandkids, siblings, nieces and nephews scattered from California to Florida. Those trips, and many cards and phone calls, kept her extended family close.
Roberta is survived by her husband, Robert, their children, Victoria (Grant Taylor), Dan (Kathy) Burns, Tim (Lorie) Burns, Geoff Burns and Karen (David McLean), their grandchildren, Cari (and future son-in-law Jason Schudel) Burns, Tom Burns, Matt Burns and Luke Taylor, great grandchildren (Evan and Alex Burns, whose father is Tom Burns), nieces, nephews and in-laws. She held near to her heart several close friends in the Midwest and Mesa, Arizona, their home base for 26 years.
Roberta’s life was focused on family, friends and serving those in need. Please honor her memory by saying a prayer or two, hugging a loved one and donating to your favorite charity.
A Memorial Service for Roberta Burns will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, October 13, at Divine Mercy Funeral Home/Catholic Cemetery, 3500 Lake Ave