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Edna's Story

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Edna Virginia Rowan Burford slipped quietly into the presence of her Savior on December 17, 2017, having lived a full life of 90 years. She was a resident of Shippenville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born on March 17, 1927 to Arthur M Rowan and Susan Friel Rowan in Tallmansville, West Virginia, she was the youngest daughter and the last surviving of ten children. In recent days she spoke of looking forward to seeing them all again. In 1945, Edna graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Buckhannon, WV, and moved north to Meadville, PA where she did factory work. At a baseball game she met Fred 'Bill' Burford with whom she shared a birthdate (St Patrick's Day 1927) and ultimately 57 years of marriage. Edna lost Fred in 2006, and is survived by two daughters, Susan Burford of Clarion, PA and Constance (Phillip) Lord of Knoxville, TN, two grandchildren, Natalie (Brian) Shore of Louisville, KY and Nathan (Lauren) Lord. She has eight great grandchildren, also of Knoxville, TN. Edna's deceased siblings were: Verna Rowan Cunningham, Otis Rowan, Carrol Rowan Bailey, Marguerite Rowan Holden, Wilma Rowan Tenney, Thelma Rowan Salsbury, Delmar Rowan, Dairel Rowan, and Chesley 'Bunt' Rowan. Several nieces and nephews have also predeceased Edna, but she is survived and remembered by many others. We thank God for Edna's life and legacy of love. A faithful wife and mother, she was also a dear friend to all who knew her, and a genuinely selfless individual, simple and unsophisticated in her tastes, who knew how to be content with she had. She grew up during the Depression, and we saw firsthand the frugality she learned. She spoke of wearing hand-me-downs and using cardboard to cover holes in her shoes, but she also recounted stories of 'making their own fun', such as pole vaulting with broom handles and rake handles. Her background made it all the more significant that she graduated from high school with skills in typing and shorthand and a desire to do well in life. She had a funny way she held her mouth as she beat her cake batter and a twangy style of singing, whether in church or while working around the house singing 'Mairzey Doats'. Everyone who knew her knew of her love for puzzles and her fierce competitiveness when playing RummikubĀ®, and Dominoes. Edna will be remembered fondly for her genuine warmth and care in furnishing her home, sewing her family's clothing, cooking their meals, and helping others, even though she worked outside the home. She made a dress for one of our teenage friends' graduation from junior high school when she heard that the girl couldn't afford to buy one. And she routinely donated her talents and her time without expectation of receiving anything in return. Although Edna would have been often lonely and fearful of life's uncertainties, she never mentioned it. She never put herself first except to rise early to enjoy the peace and quiet of the day with a cup of coffee and a crossword puzzle. Her family never doubted that they were loved! Following Edna's own wishes, the family will be remembering her quietly and individually, without a public viewing or funeral service. Please be assured that she is rejoicing even as you are reading this! In lieu of flowers, please donate to Alzheimer's Association - Greater Pennsylvania Chapter.
Arrangements are under the care of the Goble Funeral Home and Crematory, 330 Wood Street in Clarion. There will be no visitation and funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family.
Friends and family may send online condolences, order flowers and memorials and obtain additional information by visiting www.goblefh.net.
Published on December 18, 2017
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