Anna Burbidge


Anna (Anne) Burbidge

Anne Burbidge passed away at the remarkable age of 104 on February 5, 2021.

She leaves her devoted son and caregiver Ken, her daughter Linda (Terry Asselstine), and grandchildren Eric Sanderson and Colleen Thompson (Matt). She was predeceased by her beloved husband Fred, her parents, Nikolai and Eva Rusnak, and all of her siblings.

Anne was born in Pakan, Alberta, the youngest of 13 children in a immigrant homesteading family. The family was poor and even at a young age, Anne contributed by herding cattle, exercising the horses boarded at the farm and hauling milk cans. She developed a lifelong love of horseback riding. At school she learned to speak English, and from then on, was nearly always in the middle of a novel. After an injury, she went to the Kolakreeka Mission to recover, then stayed on to assist with the housekeeping. As a young woman, Anne moved to the city of Edmonton and then enlisted in the RCAF Women’s Division after the start of WWII. While serving at the base in Rivers, Manitoba, her vivacious manner and easy laugh caught the attention of Fred Burbidge, a civilian meteorologist. They dated mostly on horseback and married on VE Day. They stayed in love and devoted to each other for 57 years.

Fred’s career and studies took them across the country to Montreal and Newfoundland, but they returned to Edmonton in 1951 to put down roots, and raise their kids, Linda and Ken.They were active participants in United Church activities, the Les Amis dance club, the YMCA, bridge, samba/canasta, and most notably, their couples’ club, where they shared dinners, holidays and life events with a group of close friends for 70 years. They loved road trips, especially around Alberta, where Anne had an encyclopedic (and secret) knowledge of the very best blueberry patches. She was an outstanding baker and her wild blueberry pies were legendary.

After Fred’s death in 2002 and Anne’s stroke in 2008, she was cared for at home by her dedicated son Ken. Right up until her last few weeks, he would take her for daily drives to explore the city and countryside, feed the birds, and often stop for coffee and a “chocolate dip” at Tim’s.

There will be no funeral service, but likely a family interment ceremony later in the year.

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