Berneta Elaine Leaf was born in Lindsborg, Kansas, on
December 11, 1928, daughter of Bernard and Judith (Valine) Leaf. She graduated
from Lindsborg High School, attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, and the
Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was married to Roy P.
Burnam, Jr., December 23, 1951. Two daughters were born to them: Sonja Lynn and
Pamela Joan. Berneta died at Bethany Home in Lindsborg on February 23, 2013.
In Hickory, North Carolina, for almost 30 years Berneta developed a music
studio in her home, teaching stringed instruments, piano, and voice, with
additional locations in Morganton, Lexington, and Salisbury. Her special
emphases were collaborative playing and the study of music theory. Many of Mrs.
Burnam’s students continued with their musical studies professionally and
avocationally. Berneta was one of the co-founders of the Hickory Symphony
Orchestra which still exists today as the Western Piedmont Symphony. She was an
active member of St. Cecelia Music Club, led church choirs at Christ Lutheran
and Miller Lutheran Churches, and served on the inaugural board of the Hickory
Civil Rights Committee during the critical and beginning stages of
desegregation in North Carolina.
In 1981, she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was deeply involved
in the lives of her daughters and three grandsons. She was active in Woodland
Presbyterian Church and Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion. In 2005, she
moved back to Lindsborg where she reconnected with family and friends from the
past and attended the many special events and concerts offered in Lindsborg.
She moved into Bethany Home in 2011.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Joanna, and brother Robert
(Barbara). She is survived by her daughters Sonja Lynne Brown (Thomas Tuson)
and Pamela Jenkins; grandsons Dorian Brown, Derek Jenkins, and Andre Jenkins
(Jamie); great-granddaughter Joelle Jenkins; brothers Edward and Alan (Karen)
Leaf, and sister Ruth Ann Leaf.
There will be a memorial service at the Bethany Home Chapel in Lindsborg, on
Friday, March 1, at 2:00. Additionally, a service and inurnment will be held
later this year, also in Lindsborg. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made
in Berneta’s name to Bethany Home in Lindsborg, or to the Lutheran Church of
the Holy Communion in Philadelphia. http://www.lc-hc.org/drupal/