CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Former lifetime city resident M. Patricia Burnett passed away in the early hours of Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at the age of 92, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she had recently moved to be closer to family.
She was born Miriam Patricia DeMunn in East Liverpool, Ohio, on Feb. 5, 1921, a daughter of the late Lawrence R. and Miriam Purinton DeMunn. She was generally known as Pat, Patty, or Aunt Pat by friends and family. She had attended East Liverpool City Schools and was graduated from the Laurel School in Cleveland in 1938.
Following her graduation from Pine Manor Junior College in Wellesley, Mass. in 1940, Pat received a degree from the Boston School of Occupational Therapy, and later was graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse from Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, Maine, working for one year at the Portland Hospital. In 1972, Pat served with the Peace Corps in Tunisia for four months, and had also served in the Indian Health Service for a number of yearly tours from 1973-78 and in the school system in Fort Defiance, Arizona.
M. Patricia Burnett
Pat had traveled extensively in as many as twenty-five countries in every major continent of the world (except Antarctica) from 1939 until 2005. She even lived on a sailboat in South Portland Harbor that she built herself and named Alar (to resemble wings).
She had an adventurer's spirit that matched her modesty and devotion to her family and to her hometown of East Liverpool. Her interest in benefitting Kent State University was an important expression of her mutual devotion to both family and community. Her lead gift in the establishment of the Physical Therapy educational facility at Kent was influenced by her maternal grandfather, John J. Purinton, a prominent banker and civic leader in East Liverpool for over 65 years. Her letter to the rest of the family announcing her gift to Kent begins by acknowledging his central role, "There was an English-Swiss man who, with his German wife, began our clan." She continued eloquently that, "His life was lived for his family and for his town. All his efforts went for them to have a chance for well-worth life and for all the facilities in his town to be for same purposes to others." Tied to her deep respect and admiration for her grandfather, Pat hoped that her gift would "help a bit to show my gratitude for my blessings and for his love of family and town."
A member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, she had also belonged to the East Liverpool Colonial Club and the former City Hospital Guild at one time.
Surviving Pat are her sons and daughters-in-law: Peter L. and Penelope Burnett, Thomas D. and Marna Burnett, Christopher J. Burnett and Lea S. McChesney. There are six grandchildren: Lance, Ryan, Darcy, Matthew, Nicole and Anne Miriam, as well as six great-grandchildren: Grant, Sophia, Elijah, Bailah Ann, Tegan and Gage.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Dr. Melbourne P. Burnett and Dr. Claude A. Burnett, and also by her son, Melbourne P. Burnett.
At the request of the family, gifts in Pat's memory may be given to Kent State University, 400 E. 4th St., East Liverpool, OH 43920, and to the East Liverpool - Fawcett Community Foundation, 517 Broadway, East Liverpool, OH 43920.
Private graveside services will be held at Riverview Cemetery. The family wishes to invite extended family and friends to an open house celebration of Pat's life at the East Liverpool Country Club from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
Arrangements are being handled by the Dawson Funeral Home.
View Mrs. Burnett's memorial webpage and send condolences to the family online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com.