It is with heavy hearts that the family announce the peaceful passing of their incredible mom, Verna May Burden, at Belvedere Heights on Monday, December 19th, 2022. Age 90 years.

Beloved wife of the late Maurice Burden. Loving mother of Karen Nordstrom (Lloyd); Patrick Burden (Leslie); and Laura Burden (Ross). Cherished grandmother of Kent (Maureen), Ryan, Kyla (Jeff), Logan, Alex (Dale), and Grant (Ashley). Great grandmother of Justin, Johnny, McKinley, Elijah, Nevaeh, Olivia, Presley, and Maverick. Dear sister of the late Walter Christenson, and Violet Fisher. Lifelong “B.F.F.” of Alice Ryman (nee: Milligan). Fondly remembered by her nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Our mother was an incredible human being. She spent the first few years of her life with her parents on their farm in Carling, on the Shebeshekong River. These years cemented her love of the river, nature, and the area in general. Outside of one short attempt to live in Toronto at the beginning of her marriage, she never veered from living in her beloved Dillon. Her love of animals was so strong that she was constantly dragging every kitten, dog or calf she could get her hands on into her mother’s kitchen. Her mother wasn’t always impressed, but she encouraged her very young, energetic daughter. This role modelling helped form Verna into the amazingly nurturing person she became.

After marrying Maurice, they wasted no time in starting a family. Karen came along first, and Verna went into overdrive being the best Mom. Next came Pat, their only boy, and then Laura, the youngest. All 3 of us were given the best childhoods, due to her protective nurturing way. No one messed with her babies! During our teenage years our friends were always welcome in our home. Almost every friend wanted to become a part of our family. Every person in our community knew that our door was always open, and you were greeted with open arms, at any time.

Verna often mentioned that her years spent raising her children were her favourite, and most fulfilling. She instilled in all of us the importance and strength of family. As adults we continue to be supportive and loving toward one another, and our families.

After her children were launched, empty nest syndrome hit Verna hard. She realized that she was not happy without someone, or something to nurture. Lots of pets, lots and lots of pets. She also started to realize that she needed something else to fulfill her enormous energy and drive. She volunteered to listen to, and be a support to troubled youth. She tried a few odd jobs, but when she decided to give selling Real Estate a try, it was a perfect fit. With a supportive husband by her side, she was enabled to build a fabulous business in Real Estate. Year after year she was the top producer in her office. She loved it, and her clients loved her! But even with all of this success she once admitted that her favourite deals involved first-time buyers, often young couples, attempting to make a start in life. Her definition of success was helping others to achieve their dreams.

When she started to slow down in Real Estate, she threw herself into her beautiful property on the river. Maurice and her spent many years gardening and beautifying their little piece of Eden. Maurice concentrated on their vegetable garden. Verna, on her flowers. Flowers cropped up everywhere, all over the property.

She spent her final years living at Belvedere Heights. After she passed every person who works at, or lives at Belvedere spoke very highly of her in every respect. Over and over, we heard about her wicked sense of humour and friendliness to all. Every human being, and animal, that was privileged enough to spend any time with her, felt her incredible light and zest for life.

Verna will be remembered for her wicked sense of humour, her generosity to everyone, and her passion for life, including children, animals, and flowers. Her home was open to anyone, especially friends, and children. She spent many happy years boating and fishing on Georgian Bay with family and friends. She was loved by all!

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to all residents and staff of Belvedere Heights for their friendship, care and compassion.

A Celebration of Verna's Life will take place at a later date.

In honour of Verna and her multiple beloved pets, the family has requested donations to the O.S.P.C.A. Muskoka Animal Centre, or the charity of your choice.


Verna was a very special lady that I will always remember. I offer my sincere condolences to her Family & friends.
Jim Bunsch

-Jim Bunsch

My sincere condolences to each of you. I worked with Verna for quite awhile selling real estate. She was always quiet, gracious and friendly...willing to help a rookie whenever needed. She definitely made her mark in the world and will be fondly remembered by every Life she touched. My deepest sympathy...Anne Taylor

-Anne Taylor

May your wonderful memories of a lovely lady comfort you thru at this difficult time and thru the years to come

-Dolores Weaver

My heart is so sad! I loved your Mom and DID truly feel welcome whenever we visited. Her zest for life , her contagious humour and her deep compassion for all living things instilled in me, such a respect for this lovely lady and I feel so lucky to have known her. Your loss is great and I send my deepest support and love to all of you.

-Beth Abbey and Floyd Thomson

Our sincere condolences on the passing of your mother, she was a wonderful lady.

-Marc & Jeannie De Groote

So sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. Her ready smile and happy attitude will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to all the family.

-Joan Russell

Sincere condolences to the family. Verna was a Gem. Verna's smile warmed the world.
Our thoughts & hearts are with you.

-Jeannie & Marc De Groote

Laura and family,
I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I pray that you will find comfort in wonderful memories that will help you all through this Christmas season and the coming years.
Gail and Ken McEwen

-Gail McEwen

Dear Karen, Laura and Pat,
So sorry to see that your wonderful mum died. She was a kind, thoughtful, lovely lady who loved her family and home. The last few years were tough for all of you, with the COVID restrictions preventing visiting. She always kept her happy, positive disposition and was delightful and friendly to all.. So sorry for your loss.
Love, your friend and neighbour, Nancy

-Nancy Snider

Verna and Morris came into my Life during their Career in Real Estate. You could not help but enjoy their warm and generous personality. Always a smile and sincere personality. Verna will be missed.
Steve Elsasser

-Steve Elsasser

She was always loving and kind to me. I, as well as so many others, shall miss her. Sending much love to you all, Karen, Pat & Laura - XO Beverlee

-Beverlee Brown

I Terry knew Verna all of my life, my wife Ruth lived very close to Verna and knew her better. Our Condolences to the family.

-Terry & Ruth Little

Sorry to hear of Verna's passing. A lovely woman whose smile lit up whatever room she was in. My condolences to the family.

-Susan Murphy

My relationship with Verna was special! I always felt welcome and considered our friendship endearing. I have known Verna’s family for years and as the matriarch Verna was fun to be around and very welcoming. I am sad that she is gone but I know she is entertaining the stars. My love to Karen, Laura and Pat and extended families.

-Jan Bertram

My heartfelt condolences to her family. What a wonderful sense of humor she had.

-Anita Chechock

Karen, Pat & Laura,
Very sad to learn of your Mom's passing. Verna was a kind, caring individual and our other Mom for a few of us living in Dillon. I have very fond memories and I know she will be very much missed by you. My deepest Condolences. Kathy

-Kathy Gougeon-Evoy

Verna being moms (Alice Ryman’s)BFF has left us with very heavy hearts. Moms loved Verna and always considered her as a sister which led us to love her as Aunt Verna. Our condolences and love to all the Burden family. Love the Ryman’s

-Dan and Cindy vankoughnett

She represents the passing of a generation with values of family and nature that seems to be slipping away in today's society.

-Elaine and Bill Lawrence

My condolences on the passing of your mother. She was an incredible person and good friend to my mother. She made her feel welcome at Belvedere and if I couldn't find my mom I knew she was somewhere with Verna.

-David Musico

Dear Karen, Pat, and Laura
We were so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. She was truly one of a kind and a very special person to all who knew her. Ken and Judy

-Judy Christenson

Karen , Pat and Laura We were so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother Verna she was such a wonderful person . Our sincere condolences.

-Gary and Lorna Kennedy