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Audrey Ellen (Klein) McBurney



Donations in Audrey’s memory may be made to:

Alzheimer’s Association

25200 Telegraph Rd, Ste 100

Southfield, MI 48033-7443


The Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn  Ave NW

Grand Rapids MI 49504

Audrey Ellen (Klein) McBurney, aged 77, passed away on Monday, August 13, 2018. She was born on August 16, 1940, in Festus, Missouri, the third of Howard and Alberta Klein’s four daughters. Audrey is survived by her husband, Terry; her two daughters, Karen and Kristin; her beloved sisters, Nancy, Florence (Carl), and Marilyn (Jim); her favorite “grand cat” Newt and four grand dogs, Scout, Ella, Spencer and Arya. Audrey was the first person in her family to go to college and graduated with a teaching degree from Southwest Missouri State University where she was also a successful college debater. She started her teaching career at Carl Sandberg High School in Orland Park, IL teaching English and competitive debate. After she and Terry married on a sweltering August day in Festus, 1964, they moved to Ann Arbor, MI where she continued to teach high school English in nearby Ypsilanti. After Karen and Kristin were born, Audrey became a stay-at-home mom and regular volunteer, including leading a wonderful group of girls in a Camp Fire Girls troop and mentoring other local Camp Fire troop leaders. She jumped right into supporting whatever activities her girls were involved in like working and reorganizing the athletic concession stands and raising money for new band uniforms at Union High School where the girls were very involved in sports and music. Audrey also served as a volunteer high school debate coach and a skilled debate league judge in the Grand Rapids area where she helped teach many high school students the art of good research, logical thinking and public speaking. Audrey was a longtime antique dealer and specialized in country primitives, quilts, postcards and paper advertising. She was one of the original dealers at the Bridge Street Antique Market on the lower West Side of Grand Rapids starting in the Fall 1983 and later sold antiques through Dovetail Antiques and North Star Antiques in Lowell. She was a regular seller at the Allegan Antique Markets every summer over the past 40 years and made many wonderful friends through antiquing. Audrey enjoyed staying active including paddling, hiking and camping with her family, “putzing” in her perennial flower beds, roller skating, visiting Lake Michigan shoreline communities with family and friends, and walking on the beach to hunt for beach glass.  She was also was a big movie buff, enjoyed music and concerts, savored the occasional Yesterdog, and was “devastatingly good” at Scrabble. Visitation will be Saturday, August 18 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM with a Memorial Service following at 12:30 PM at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI. Deacon Jim Thorndill officiating. Donations in Audrey’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 25200 Telegraph Rd, Ste 100, Southfield, MI 48033-7443, or or to the Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn  Ave NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504 or, a favorite place of hers on the West Side and where her daughters went to school in the 6th grade.

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3 Responses

  1. Peace and prayers, to the family and friends. Audrey was one of the first people I met when I started in the Antique business, some 30+ years ago. She had exquisite taste and I learned much from her, over the years. I will miss her smile and sage advice. Rest in Peace my friend, see you when I get there. God-willing. Amen

  2. My sympathies to Audrey’s family. Was acquainted with her through the antique world of which she was very knowledgeable. Always enjoyed talking with her at Allegan antique show. She will be missed, and dearly remembered.
    Fondly, Bobbie

  3. My sympathies go out to the McBurney family. I wish you peace and comfort during this time of loss.

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