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Elvera "Elvy" Burlingame

June 10, 1930 July 1, 2024
Elvera "Elvy" Burlingame
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Obituary for Elvera "Elvy" Burlingame

Elvera “Elvy” Burlingame, age 94, of Knox, passed away on Sunday, June 30th, 2024, CST, leaving us all with wonderful memories of a full life, rich with friends, family and activities.

Elvy was born June 10,1930, in Chicago, to parents who emigrated from Yugoslavia. She had five half-brothers who predeceased her. Though not raised with her siblings, she cherished later relationships with two surviving brothers and their families. Elvy was proudly patriotic and never took for granted the opportunities and life this great country provided her and her family. Growing up during the Depression with very little, she was grateful for what she had, and possessed an uncanny knack for making-do.

After graduating high school, Elvy began working as a photo colorist, then a secretary. A naturally independent and self-sufficient woman, at 25, she saved up enough money to pay cash for a brand new 1955 Chevy Bel-Air, “the love of her life”, despite not knowing how to drive yet. In her words, “her world changed forever” with the accompanying freedom and autonomy. Several years later, she bought a tiny summer shack at Bass Lake, Indiana, got her toolbelt on and started fixing it up. Elvy didn’t let conventional norms of the era dictate her behavior or stop her from pursuing what she wanted in life, even when the banker asked where her husband was and challenged the sale of the property to a single woman.

In 1967, Elvy married Glen Burlingame, who predeceased her. She gave birth to a son, Alan, deceased, and a daughter, Linda, who survives her. She was also blessed with many other beloved extended and blended family members across the country. Her granddog, Wubba, was a constant compass and comfort to her.

Wanting to stay home to raise her children, Elvy ventured to become self-employed and for the next fifty years, made a profession as an artist and crafter, always coming up with new ideas and products to sell. She was a creative, independent, and strong woman, committed to being healthy and active and determined to be useful and do good in the world.

Elvy had many hobbies; she loved art, nature, gardening, cooking, genealogy, DIY and reading. Her world really expanded when she left Chicago and retired to Bass Lake permanently. She enjoyed participating in and volunteering through a number of groups, among them: Virginia’s Rockettes Exercise Group, Book Club, Card-Making Club, Jolly 60s, Shady Ladies, Evergreen Garden Club, Ladies of the Lake, Homemakers Extension, Chat-N-Do, Santa’s Clauset, Knox Senior Center, and the Salvation Army, which was especially near and dear to her heart since childhood. Elvy so valued the true camaraderie and lasting friendships she found among these women. Her closest friends remain from these groups and continue to be a source of love and support.

Elvy loved family tradition, celebrating holidays and birthdays and making others feel special. She always rooted for the underdog. Elvy was a force who got things done - an optimist with a can-do attitude and a sharp wit who loved to laugh. Her simple philosophy was to stay busy and to help others.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Elvy’s name to Community Services of Starke County, who supports seniors in the Knox community.

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Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

Memorial Contribution

Community Services of Starke County

311 E. Culver Road
Knox, IN 46534

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