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Patricia "Pat" Burnett

March 20, 1931 August 22, 2018
Patricia "Pat" Burnett
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Obituary for Patricia "Pat" Burnett

PEORIA – Helen Patricia Vannice Burnett, of Peoria died at 12:19 pm, Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at her home in Peoria, surrounded by her loving family.

Born on March 20, 1931, in Davenport, Iowa, to Charles and Gertrude (Kelly) Vannice, Pat’s early years were spent on “The Farm.” She learned a tough work ethic and dreamed of becoming a diplomatic interpreter. A different life of diplomacy awaited her dreams.

On April 19, 1952, Pat married the love of her life, Victor D. Burnett, in West Liberty, Iowa. Vic and Pat enjoyed 66 years of marriage, blessed with eleven children, sixteen grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and two more on the way.

Pat is survived by her husband, Vic of Peoria, IL; daughter-in-law, Ann Burnett of Peoria, IL; son, Rick (Patti) Burnett of Washington, IL; son, Terry Burnett of Pekin, IL; daughter, Viki Burnett of Peoria, IL; son, Kelly (Anita) Burnett of Bartonville, IL; son, Chris (Connie) Burnett of Peoria, IL; daughter, Lisa Burnett of Peoria, IL; daughter, Val (Dave) Berry of Brimfield, IL; son, Johnny (Susan) Burnett of Mount Prospect, IL and daughter, Jenny (Bob) Parkhurst of Germantown Hills, IL. She was preceded in death by her oldest son, Marc Burnett, in 2012, her son Patrick Leo Burnett, in 1962, her brother Bob Vannice, sister Charlotte Cuba, and her parents.

Pat is also survived by her grandchildren, Ty Burnett, Van Burnett, Stephanie (Brett) Bergman, Corey Stoughton (Nick Conway), Dave Stoughton (April Antonellis), Tim Higle, Tony Higle, Jessie (Beau) Grant, Elise (Kyle) Stokes, Kristen (Joe) Winkler, Clare Zell, Mary Zell, Sam (Cassie) Berry, Jake Berry, Connor Parkhurst, and Pauline Parkhurst. Her great grandchildren are Cooper Bergman, Marcus and Hugh Conway, Eddie and Audrey Grant, Colin Winkler, Olivia Berry, Matthew and Annabelle Berry.

“Patsy” always carried her feisty Irish demeanor—but at its center was the sweet, caring spirit that defined her life. She was an early civil rights activist in her college years, leading to national news coverage of her story. Her friendships lasted a lifetime and she considered many of her children’s friends a part of her intimate family circle. A mother to all, it was always an ‘open door policy’ at the Burnett household. Generations playfully sought her approval through the years. She loved to play along—like awarding the coveted red plate each Thanksgiving.

She was a voracious reader and seeker of knowledge. Inspired by many trips abroad, especially to her beloved Ireland, Patsy’s love of travel was always around her. It was heard in her conversations with loved ones and seen in her 600 thimbles, collected and gifted from around the world. When at home in Peoria, she loved nothing more than to be surrounded by generations of children, listening to musical performances or cheering on a sports team. Listening to her children sing was the joy of her life.

While many hearts are feeling her loss, they will find strength in her memories and guidance.
Pat was a devout Catholic who worshiped with her family for many years at St. Mark’s Parish, then later became a member of Holy Family Church in Peoria.

The family extends a special thanks to the OSF Peoria Hospice Care, Dr. John Shallat, and countless family caregivers.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, August 26, 2018 at Holy Family Church from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. A Funeral Mass will be on Monday, August 27 at 11:00 am at Holy Family Church. Private Family Burial will be accorded at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in West Peoria, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Family.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences to

Previous Events





4:00 PM 8/26/2018 4:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 8/26/2018 9:00:00 PM
Holy Family Catholic Church

3720 N Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Holy Family Catholic Church
3720 N Sterling Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Funeral Mass




11:00 AM 8/27/2018 11:00:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church

3720 N Sterling Ave
Peoria, IL 61615

Holy Family Catholic Church
3720 N Sterling Ave Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Burnett Family C/O Victor Burnett

2810 N. Elmcroft Dr
Peoria, IL 61604

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