Alwilna “Willie” Burris Stoltenberg
Alwilna “Willie” Burris Stoltenberg, 92, of Lawrence passed away on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, February 16, 2015 at Plymouth Congregational Church. Private burial will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery on Tuesday, February 17.
Willie was born April 25, 1922 on the family farm in Jefferson County, KS the daughter of Clifford and Evelyn (Hayden) Thiry.
Willie attended college in Madison, TN and then taught at Knowledge Hill School in Jefferson County. She was also a legal secretary for several years. Later she was employed by the Lawrence Public School District where she worked in numerous elementary schools in a secretarial capacity for over 25 years.
She was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church, Plymouth Afternoon Women’s Group, Stephen Ministry at Plymouth Congregational Church, V.F.W. Auxiliary, Ventura Club, and The American Association of Retired Persons. Willie was a former volunteer for many years for Meals on Wheels. She was an active member of Kappa Kappa Iota, an avid bridge player, and was extremely loyal to KU athletics.
Willie married N. Jack Burris May 12, 1944 in El Paso, TX. He died September 22, 1986. She later married Howard A. Stoltenberg June 24, 1989 in Lawrence. He preceded her in death September 1, 2005.
She was also preceded in death by brothers and in-laws Willard Thiry, Herb and Dorthy Thiry, Don and Jean Thiry, and brother-in-law Thomas Leo Jr.
Survivors include: daughter Shirley and husband Doug Henson of Livermore, CA; son Bruce and wife Debbie Burris of Laguna Niguel, CA; grandchildren Sarah Henson and husband Camilo Fabros of Carlsbad, CA; Alex Henson and wife Camille of Marina, CA; David Burris of Brooklyn, NY; Erin Burris of Eugene, OR; and great-granddaughter Hayley Grace Fabros. She is also survived by sister Neva Leo of Lee’s Summit, MO and brother Robert and wife Shirley Thiry of Lawrence, KS. Other survivors include: stepson David Stoltenberg and wife Suzanne, two step-grandchildren, and four step-great-grandchildren. Numerous nieces and nephews have also survived her.
Willie will be remembered as having been a very loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and as a loyal and supportive friend to a multitude of people.
Visitation will be held from 4 – 6 p.m. Sunday, February 15, 2015 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Plymouth Congregational Church and may be sent in care of the mortuary.
We have many memories of Shirley and Bruce playing in our backyard with our kids and many visits over the coffee cup with Willie. Always a very good neighbor.
Blessings on all the family.
I first met Willie through Frances Colburn at Centenary United Methodist. Willie came to a lot of our banquets and special occasions. I then later had contact with her at So. Jr. High when I was liking for some information in order to help a student there. Most recently though, Willie were both in the same aerobics class through Lawrence Parks & Rec. She stood right behind me and we had many opportunities to visit. She always had a beautiful smile for me and anyone else she came in contact with. She will be missed by not only me but many, many others as well. Jan Houk