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Mrs. Vanece L. (Nelson) Burgett

November 13, 1925 ~ May 13, 2019 (age 93)

Vanece L. Burgett, 93, of Coal Valley, Illinois formerly of Galesburg passed away May 13, 2019 at Silver Cross Health and Rehab Pavilion in Rock Island. 

Vanece was born November 13, 1925 in Chicago, the only child of Vanner T. and Florence C. Anderson Nelson.  Her early years were spent in Pasadena, California but she and her widowed mother moved to Galesburg when she began grade school and she graduated from Galesburg High School in 1943.  She was salutatorian of her graduating class, was very active in both academic and social functions, and maintained and enjoyed friendships with many former classmates over the years.  Following high school she worked as a bookkeeper in Galesburg and it was through that job she met John Burgett.  They were married on May 7, 1948 at South Park Presbyterian Church in Rock Island and he was the love of her life.  He passed away on December 30, 2016 following 68 years of happiness together.

In 1952 they purchased acreage near Coal Valley where they built their home and continued their part-time business of raising mink.  John worked as a tool maker in the Quad Cities and Vanece was a “stay-at-home” mom with the three children, Mark, Carol, and Janet.  In 1961 they closed the mink ranch and in 1962 they left on a vacation in an 8-foot camper on the back of a pickup truck—uncommon at that time in the early 1960s.  This was the first of many vacations that eventually took the family throughout the United States and into Canada and Mexico as well.  They recognized from that first trip that camping was a wonderful way to travel and spend family time together and they began a new business venture in 1962--Burgett Camper Sales, one of the first RV dealerships in the Quad Cities.  They ran the business part-time for ten years.  John then retired from Ametek in 1972 and they continued until 1992 when son Mark took over.  Vanece worked in selling and bookkeeping and continued to work with Mark well into her 90s.  She was tremendously hardworking and loved meeting new people and working with customers. The partnership she had in both marriage and business with husband John was one of love and devotion.  Vanece was a selfless mother and grandmother and her family was everything to her.  Family gatherings were very special and she was immensely proud of her five grandchildren and their many activities and accomplishments.  She loved them with all her heart.

Left to cherish her memory and honor her legacy are her children, Mark (Diane) Burgett, Carol (John) Yoder, Janet Burgett, Thomas Jackson II, and grandchildren, Dr. Sarah (Chad) Burgett-Rhoades (with Vanece’s 1st great-grandchild due any day), Dr. Laura (Matthew DeBartolo) Burgett, John Eric (Dr. Mikayla) Yoder, Kristin (Jacob) Terranova, and Thomas Jackson III, U.S. Army ROTC cadet; cousin Donald Robinson, and sister-in-law Sarah Rebecca Myers (101 years old).   She was also blessed with numerous caring and thoughtful nieces and nephews whom she truly treasured.

Graveside services will be 11:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2019 at Linwood Cemetery, Galesburg, Illinois where her grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.  At Vanece’s request there will be no visitation.  Rev. Jim Ecklund will officiate services. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Vanece’s name may be made to the Coal Valley Fire Protection District, 103 W. 18 Ave., Coal Valley, IL

61240. Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services are assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at

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