Blanche Edna Burr

January 4, 1920October 7, 2020

Blanche Edna Burr died October 7, 2020 at age 100 while in hospice care at Buckner Villas, Austin, TX. She was born January 4, 1920 to Olin and Ottie Farquhar at the old Seton Hospital at 26th and Rio Grande in Austin. Blanche was their third child as the first two were boys who died during delivery by forceps; she was successfully born due to the introduction of the Caesarean Section. She grew up in the Travis Heights’ neighborhood, attending elementary school at St. Mary’s Academy and high school at Austin High (graduating at age 16 … high school then went only through 11th grade). She graduated from the University of Texas in 1941 with a Bachelor’s degree in double majors of Business and Education. While at UT, she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, for which, as an alumna, she served as State Membership Chairman and U.S. Panhellenic Representative for several years.

After graduation from UT, Blanche taught commercial subjects a short time at Schulenburg (TX) High School before moving to Corpus Christi in June 1942. There, in the spring of 1943, she met her future husband at a party hosted by a Presbyterian church where the women were told to each put one of their shoes in a ring and each guy picked a shoe for a dance with its owner. The guy who picked her shoe was a tall, handsome cadet in training at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, soon to be a U.S. Marine pilot, who grew up on a farm just outside LeRoy, Kansas … Merle Lester Burr. And the rest is history. They married in New Bern, NC on September 16, 1943, and lived for a short time on the Marine base in nearby Cherry Point, a place and time they both described as one of the best in their entire lives. From Cherry Point, they were transferred to San Diego and then to El Centro, California. In April 1945, Merle was shipped overseas to Hawaii to fight for his country in WW II’s Pacific Front, and Blanche moved back to Austin to live with her parents. Blanche worked initially as an accounting payroll clerk and was later promoted to secretary to the manager at the historic Driskill Hotel. September 2, 1945 marked the official Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day); WW II was over!!

Merle returned to Austin that December and their civilian life began. They initially lived with Blanche’s parents on Duval Street while Merle completed his BBA degree in transportation and worked full time at Travis Laundry (owned by friend Travis LaRue who later became Austin Mayor ’69 - ‘71). They later rented a duplex at 4410 Duval St., almost directly across from Blanche’s parents. Shortly thereafter, their first child, daughter Cheryl, was born on October 2, 1946. In 1951, they moved to San Antonio where Merle worked for the IRS Collection Division and Blanche worked for various federal agencies culminating with the position of Head Secretary for the Flight Nurses at Brooks Air Force Base. In 1964, shortly after daughter Cheryl entered The University of Texas at Austin, a new chapter in Blanche’s life began when she gave birth to son Richard … the best thing that ever happened to the Burr family! At that point, Blanche retired to be a stay-at-home Mom. In the summer of 1966, they moved back to Austin where Merle was employed by the Economic Development Administration. In 1977, they moved to Georgetown, TX as Merle prepared for retirement. Blanche made many great friends in Georgetown while still keeping up with her friends from both San Antonio and Austin. For several years Blanche and Merle were season ticket holders for UT Baseball, attending every home game. In Georgetown, Blanche volunteered at the Handcrafts store, was active in a bowling league and the neighborhood Women’s Club, and was an avid reader. After Merle’s death in 2003, she moved back to Austin to be closer to her daughter Cheryl and family. She remained mentally sharp and active almost to the end; enjoying her Chardonnay, going to Friday night dinners with family and friends, delighting in the “occasional” margarita.

Blanche is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl and Gale Hasselmeier of Austin, and her son and daughter in-law, Richard and Evelin Burr of Houston. Additionally, she’s survived by her granddaughter Kristen Hasselmeier Scheppler with husband Chris, and their two sons (Blanche’s great-grandsons) Cory and Caden, as well as her granddaughters, Angelica and Chelsea Burr. Special thanks go to Blanche’s longtime physical therapist, David Barrerra, who enhanced her both in health and spirit in the last years of her life.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, October 25, 2020, at the Pflugerville Cook-Walden Memorial Hill Cemetery (on the northbound I-35 access road immediately north of W. Howard Lane, not to be confused with the newer Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery and Mausoleum about ¾ mile further north).


  • Graveside Service

    Sunday, October 25, 2020

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Blanche Edna Burr

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Blanche Edna Burr

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John Perry

October 25, 2020

Dear Cheryl Ann: You may not remember me from when we were kids. Our grandmothers were friends. Your mom and mine (Ruby Perry) were friends. I just saw about your mom's passing. What a marvelous life she lived and how special to for her to have you, Richard and your families to love her so well all these years.

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother.

With affection,
John Perry

Terry and cindy Burleson

October 25, 2020

We were very lucky to have known Blanche for the last 25 years+. Some of our fondest memories of her are her insights into life and ability to “say it like it is”. What an good life she led and left a great family for us to know and love. She is missed.

Linda Jupe

October 19, 2020

I remember Blanch Edna and Merle like it was yesterday! Loved gathering at their home with Cheryl, Martha, Melody and Nancy. Was very lucky to see Blanch Edna, Cheryl and Martha a few years ago and enjoyed dinner and margaritas. Love to all the family and very grateful to have known them. ❤️ LINDA


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