Mary Ann Burdue
Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023
April 12, 1937-June 3, 2023
Mary Ann Burdue was born on April 12, 1937, to Willard and Neva (Mayo) Green in Battle Creek, Michigan. Her family frequently moved while she was a child but she found Niles to be home while in her teens. On June 21, 1958, she married the love of her life, Jerald “Jerry” Burdue of Niles. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree and from Michigan State University with her master’s degree in education. While at school at WMU in the 50s, she and some girlfriends went out for lunch in their pajamas causing some heads to turn.
Mary Ann taught in the Niles Community School system for over thirty years, and had many fond memories of students, and fellow teachers. She was at the heart of a group of retired teachers from Niles who would meet often for lunch to chat about the past and tell stories of their children, and grandchildren. Students loved her kind, caring, and playfulness as she and a fellow teacher would open their classroom windows to serve ice cream during recess. She was instrumental in informing school districts around the state about a curriculum based on fulfilling a child’s basic needs, including the sense of belonging.
During her summer vacations, she traveled with her husband in a specially designed camper van across North America. They enjoyed the American Southwest, especially New Mexico, which inspired them to paint much of their home to match the desert sands, and decorate with Native American items. All told, they made it to forty-nine states, much of Canada, and parts of Mexico. Mary Ann and Jerry took their children, Kerry, and Marcy, to Disney most winter breaks while they were growing up.
She happily retired in 1994, to have more time with her newly born grandson, Jerrid. Mary Ann read all seven Harry Potter books to Jerrid, in the individual character voices of course. Together they enjoyed music, art, plays, baking, gardening, and so much more.
Mary Ann was a member of the Four Flags Garden Club, and Howard Township Friends of the Library. She looked forward to each spring for the sight of daffodils in full bloom alongside dogwood trees. She approached life with the mantra of “K.I.S.S” — Keep it Simple Sweetheart which served her well.
She is survived by her husband of sixty-four years, Jerald Burdue, daughter, Marcy Burdue, and grandson, Jerrid (Natalie) Burdue.
She was preceded in death by, her son, Kerry Burdue, and her sister Nancy Bryarly.
Donations can be made to the Four Flags Garden Club or Howard Township Friends of the Library in lieu of flowers.
In keeping with her wish’s cremation has taken place. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Mary Ann’s family has chosen Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services to care for her.
Memories, condolences, and photos may be left for the family at www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com