Lou Burnice Drake Bukowich
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Lou Burnice Bukowich made her journey to her new life with her maker at 7:20 p.m. Monday, June 8, 2009, at Grace Healthcare. She was born Dec. 5, 1907.
Lou Burnice was born on a farm between Abilene and Talmage, Dickinson County, Kan., to Denver Denton Drake and Lou Edna Wallace Drake. Burnice was the oldest of nine children, so she helped her mother raise the rest of the family. When she was 8, in 1915, the family couldn’t make it with farming and heard of ship building in Louisiana and Texas, so they moved to Seal, La., near Oretta, with the five children. Not enough work in Louisiana so Denver went to Galveston, Texas, returning to the family when funds would allow. Three more children were born in Louisiana. Burnice, needing her tonsils and adenoids removed at age 12, had an aunt come to take her to McPhearson, Kan.
Shortly after the uncle died, Aunt Daisy and Uncle Madison took her to Kingsdown, Kan., to help clean chicken coops, get meals and do dishes for thrashers and a friend for an only child, cousin Nellie. Burnice finished ninth grade. Later the rest of the family moved to Grandpa Wallace’s, where another sister was born, but Burnice had a boyfriend. She married him Feb. 22, 1926, in Abilene, Kan., and went to live in Chapman, Kan., for four months as he went from farm to farm as there was work for him. The first child was born in Ashland (Kansas) Hospital in 1927.
Word received that Uncle Frank Bukovec had passed away in South Canyon and they could have the farm if they would move to Colorado, so they moved to South Canyon in 1928. There the second and third children were born in South Canyon. Not being able to make a living on that farm, they moved to Glenwood Springs in 1930, renting a one-bedroom home on Palmer. In 1931 they moved to 611 Ninth St., where Burnice lived for 70 years. The fourth through sixth children were born there. She was raising a large garden, canning, washing and ironing, cleaning houses for others and the seventh child was born in 1944 at Hopkins Hospital.
In December of 1944 she found herself alone raising seven children. In 1959 she went to work for Mike and Phyllis Bosco at Denver Hotel for 14 years as a maid and then head housekeeper. She retired in 1973.
After the children were raised she still had a large garden, and she belonged to Golden Age Outreach Circle. She attended the Presbyterian Church, taught Sunday school for 3-year-olds, sang choir and worked cleaning the church for years for her donation to the church. She embroidered, watched her family grow and kept a very neat home and yard.
After a fall she went to Valley View, and then Glen Valley Nursing Home, then to Open Gate and again back to Glen Valley Nursing Home (now called Grace Health Care) and had been there almost seven years under some very loving care, trying to do her very best. When the activities director tried to get her to join in she said, “I’ve raised seven children and two dogs and I’m tired.”
Services will be held at Glenwood Springs First Presbyterian Church Friday June 12, at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Doug Darnold officiating.
Survivors are seven children and five spouses: Lawrence F. Bukowich of Glenwood Springs, Edna J. (Freddy) Gerbaz of Glenwood Springs, Frederick F. (Carolyn) Bukowich of Neosho, Mo., Marjorie A. (Ernest J.) Gerbaz of Glenwood Springs, Pete V. Bukowich of Boulder, Lillian M. (James H.) Ranniger of Evergreen and John E. (Elaine) Bukowich of Glenwood Springs; 15 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; sister Mildred I. Davis of Alexandria, Va.; sister-in-law Rachel Drake of Olathe, Kan.; one brother-in-law of Topeka, Kan.; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by three sisters, four brothers, and three brothers-in-laws and three sisters-in-laws.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, PO Box 162, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602; or Grace Health Care Activities Department, 2305 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs CO.
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