Irene R. Burbach
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Irene Rose (Kalkowski) Burbach, age 91 of Wynot, Nebraska passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at the Waterford at Wilderness Hills Memory Care in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, February 25, 2019 at 10:30 am at Holy Family (Sacred Heart) Catholic Church in Wynot, NE with the Reverend Eric Olsen officiating. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart cemetery in Wynot. Visitation will be on Sunday, from 3:00 - 6:00 pm with a Vigil Service at 5:00 pm. Visitation will continue on Monday one hour prior to services. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington, NE.

Pallbearers will be Jesse Burbach, Chris Burbach, Vince Burbach, Alex Heimes, Nathan Heimes and Chuck Burbach. Honorary Pallbearers will be all of her grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Irene was born on April 3, 1927 to Albin and Rose (Sedivy) Kalkowski in Lynch, Nebraska where she graduated from Lynch High School in 1944, attended 4-H meetings and grew to dislike milking cows. In 1946, she moved to Wynot, Nebraska with a two-year teaching certificate from Wayne State Teacher's College and it was there that she met Cyril Burbach while volunteering at a Wynot High School Banquet. They were married August 23, 1948, in Lynch, Nebraska. Irene retired after a teaching career spanning over 40 years.

After Irene and Cyril's marriage, they moved to the farm where she would live her entire life. They made their home two miles north of Wynot on a small farm where they impressed upon their six children two heart-felt priorities: a strong faith and a good education. The lessons of hard work were taught early and often. Cyril and Irene were both lifelong members of the Wynot community, where they raised their family. They enjoyed square dancing and boisterous conversations with family and friends around the kitchen table. In 1951, their first son, Larry, was born, followed by Steve in 1955, Richard in 1957, Barbara in 1962, Lisa in 1965, and Rob in 1967. Irene served her community as a teacher in Wynot Public Schools for over 40 years and was an active member of the Catholic Church. Irene's commitment to honor her family and her community in every way she could continued throughout her life.

After her husband's death in 1980, Irene persisted as a foundation of support for her family throughout life's challenges. She provided a loving home for her children and grandchildren. Irene overcame personal loss and hardship in her life with the strength of her faith and her love for her family. Her faith in God never faltered, and she believed that "life becomes a means of handling all the challenges the Lord sends us." She handled each challenge with determination, obligation, and a faith in a higher power. Whenever possible, Irene could be found cooking, working outside, reading, traveling and occasionally card playing.

Irene lived her faith and was an active member of the Sacred Heart Altar Society, an EME (extraordinary minister of the Eucharist), member of the National Council of Catholic Women and the American Legion Auxiliary Post. She also taught religious education and confirmation classes for many years and helped spearhead fundraising efforts to build the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. Irene moved to Lincoln in 2015 to the Waterford Memory Care Center. The staff remember and love Irene as someone who persisted in her efforts to care for others with a smile on her face throughout the duration of her stay. She was a beloved resident to all.

Irene is survived by her sons, Larry (Ruth) Burbach of Lincoln, NE, Steve (Rhonda) Burbach of Lincoln, NE, Richard (Tammy) Burbach of Wynot, NE, and Rob (Karen) Burbach of Omaha, NE; her daughter Lisa (Terry) Heimes of Lincoln, NE; 14 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister Marian Jo Barta of Norfolk, NE; and sister-in-law Kay Lynn Kalkowski of Lincoln, NE.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband Cyril on August 9, 1980 at the age of 59; sister, Frances Mauree Schochenmaier, brother, Lawrence Kalkowski, and daughter, Barbara Burbach.

The family extends a special thank you to the Waterford Memory Care Center caregivers who provided wonderful care and support for our beloved mother.




Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.

My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time.

Lisa Spellman


Dear family, Larry, Steve, Lisa and Rick, I just read your mother's obituary. I am sorry to hear of her loss, I am sure that you are all grieving. I hope that you all also remember the wonderful times and events that your mother was so much a part of and how she shaped her family. Best wishes, I am in Washington DC right now for Congressional meetings and I will not be able to see you at the funeral. Miss all of you.

Leon Schochenmaier


My condolences to the Burbach family. I never met Irene -- but knowing a couple of her children -- I have no doubt she was a great lady.

Tom O'Connor


I was so sorry to read of Irene's death. I remember her as a warm and loving person, and a devoted mother. My parents, Don and Theresa McBride, always thought so much of Irene . . . as they did her beloved Cyril. I have good memories from the times when they were together. I know that Irene will be greatly missed by your whole family. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

Eileen L. McBride


Be assured of my prayers for Irene. I remember well her hospitality and the warmth of her home when I had the honor of presiding at her wonderfully talented, loving daughter Barbara's mass of the resurrection. I apologize that I can not make the Irene's services; the church and cemetery were beautifully kept. I still have Barbara's rosary on my desk that Irene gave me. You will be in my prayers that the Spirit continue to bless you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially Strength, Consolation and Peace.

Fr. Don Doll, S.J.


My sincere condolences to Irene's family. May God wrap his loving arms around you and comfort you during this difficult time. God Bless.

Andie Sudbeck


Sending our sympathies in the death of our Aunt Irene. I'll always fondly remember her kindness, caring and sense of humor. I'll forever treasure the summer I spent babysitting at the farm while she furtherer her education. Love you all and keeping you in my prayers.

Bill and Sheila


Steve, Rhonda, and family,
Sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Sympathy and prayers for you all.

Charlotte Brotherson


I am sorry to hear of Irene's passing. Prayers sent to the entire family. My days teaching on the staff with Irene at Wynot were a pleasure.

Jerry Scheuler


Our sincere condolences to Irene's family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. She was my aunt and was a very multi-talented and dedicated lady. She always made sure, when I worked on their farm as a teenager, that I knew the right way to do things, but always with kindness. She also nurtured my thirst for learning and education. I will forever be grateful to her for her love and guidance.

Sid and Sandra Hochstein


Larry, Steve, Rick, Lisa, and Rob, I am sorry to read of your mother's death. I remember the first day I met her and her welcoming presence. Over the years I would see her and all of you and be met with that same welcoming presence. I know that she is being welcomed in heaven as she welcomed others. May your time of sorrow be fulfilled with the memories you have of her and your father and how they are now living in God's welcoming presence.

Larry Zahm


dear family, so sad to learn irene has passed. I will cherish the memories of her hostess skills, her smile. she clearly enjoyed being a woman. she has left us with important life lessons. besides my auntie she was also my godmother. I am sorry for your sorrow. I currently have water in my basement and more on the way. I will be there in spirit.

peace and love, carol ann and family


My apologies in my earlier message I neglected to list Rob. My mistake

Leon schochenmaier


Dear Family: I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. With our family farm being a mile from Uncle Cyril and Aunt Irene we recall the visits to your farm and the fun times. I remember your mother's big smile--always glad to see us and always having great meals and food to feed everyone! Her legacy is her love for her family, education, and her contributions to our home community of Wynot. As we are in Florida for the winter and our children and grandchildren joining us here this week, we are unable to attend the celebration of her life with all our cousins. You will find peace and comfort in your memories of her. Love to you all.

Lynette (Burbach) and Clayton Bruening


Dear Burbach family, Your mom was one of my favorite teachers growing up. Always had a smile on her face. Sending prayers and comfort to you all.

Mary (Guy) Middleton


Our sympathy goes out to Irene's family. Irene was a wonderful person. I will always have fond memories of her as my 4th grade teacher over in the "annex" building! May the Lord bless you all with an abundance of comfort!!

Dan and Arlene Hans

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