Nancy “Dolores” Burks

03/07/1938 — 11/29/2023

From Richland, WA | Born in Stonewall, OK

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Starts:
Sat, January 6, 2024, 8:00 am
Ends:
Sat, January 6, 2024, 11:00 am
Location:
Einan’s At Sunset Funeral Home
915 Bypass Highway Bldg. H Richland, WA 99352

Celebration of Life

Starts:
Sat, January 6, 2024, 11:00 am
Location:
Einan’s At Sunset Funeral Home
915 Bypass Highway Bldg. H Richland, WA 99352

Graveside

Starts:
Sat, January 6, 2024, 12:00 pm
Location:
Sunset Gardens
915 Bypass Highway, Richland, WA 99352

Nancy “Dolores” Burks

Nancy “Dolores” Burks, 85, passed away peacefully on November 29, 2023, at her family home of 62 years. She was surrounded by a legacy of love and memories, with her devoted daughters by her side. Dolores fought long and hard despite a myriad of health challenges that she bravely battled – and courageously endured – for more than seven years. It was a true testament to her inner strength and quiet fortitude (mirroring the way she lived her life) and embodied a mother’s deepest desire to be there for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren whom she loved and cherished more than anything.
Dolores was kind, compassionate, loving, and gentle in spirit. She was a natural caregiver and always there to help her family and anyone in need. She was humble, selfless, and rarely complained, often putting others’ needs before her own. Although she was not comfortable being the center of attention, Dolores had a witty sense of humor that came easily and often unexpectedly considering how mild mannered she was, making her delivery and the punchline even funnier.

Born on March 7, 1938, to Fred Tracy and Eura (Jackson) Tracy in Stonewall, OK, her family relocated to California when she was a baby in search of better work away from the cotton fields. They eventually settled in Grandview where she spent her school years and lived in the house built by her father. Dolores enjoyed growing up in a small town and often spoke fondly of summer jobs spent sorting and packing cherries. She always said she preferred country life over big cities…and to her, 1960’s Richland was big! Dolores had an older sister and loved mothering her two little brothers when she was a young girl.

Dolores was a good student and excelled in English. While attending Grandview High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society and the girls athletic association, sophomore class secretary, and placed 2nd in the Voice of Democracy contest. Dolores was a talented singer and sang alto in a high-school trio that performed at school events and around town. They even recorded a record featuring “Down by the Riverside” and performed on the Hugh Davis TV show. Her love of singing continued into adulthood when she would harmonize with her sisters-in-law at family gatherings and Christmas.

After graduating from high school, Dolores and her girlfriends embarked on a road trip to California and interviewed to be stewardesses. She was selected but ultimately declined when her close friend did not receive an offer. Shortly thereafter, she was hired by General Electric and worked as a secretary in the 200 West Area. A competent and conscientious worker, Dolores was active in many company organizations including the “Safety Sues.” At age 21, she entered the 1959/60 Miss Richland pageant and wore many dresses that were sewn by her mother. Although Dolores wasn’t crowned the winner, she always carried that experience close to her heart.

As a young worker, Dolores lived in dorms that were built to house Hanford Site employees. Those were exciting times and a highlight of her youth. Eventually, living with roommates and driving home to Grandview every weekend to do laundry grew tiresome and Dolores bought a one-bedroom house on Wright St. in Richland. She enjoyed painting and decorating her house, hanging out with friends, and going dancing at the VFW where she caught the eye of her beloved Leo. They married in 1961, and soon after their two daughters were born. Theirs is a story of love and devotion that lasted for 59 years.

Dolores was a hard worker and held many jobs to help support her family. After staying at home when her girls were little, she worked summers doing odd jobs at the Towne Crier and later became a certified teacher’s aide working with special needs students at Spalding, Jefferson, and Hanford Elementary Schools. She loved being an aide and teaching kids was her life’s calling. Years later, she helped at the family service station business, held a temporary job as a janitor (receiving accolades for her impeccable work), and ended her career as a highly respected executive secretary (the best according to one of her bosses) with the Fluor Hanford Legal Department before retiring in 2000.

Dolores prided herself on keeping a nice house and taking care of her children. She volunteered at many school carnivals and helped in the classroom as a room mom and with after school crafts. She was game for adventure and loved fishing trips to Scootney and O’Sullivan in the old station wagon; marathon shopping trips to Yakima; going to Art in the Park every summer; traveling to Leavenworth, Seattle, and Spokane; going on family road trips; and spending time on the Oregon Coast. Her favorite place was Cannon Beach as she loved the ocean and combing the beach for seashells and sand dollars. She always preferred a rainy, cloudy day over the hot sun, and her flowerbeds were often peppered with an assortment of driftwood. Dolores and Leo loved visiting their daughters at WSU and going to football games. Their daughters were their pride and joy, and they never missed a mom or dad’s weekend. Dolores and Leo even went on a rafting trip in their 60’s and the family still jokes about ‘Dolores Rock’ where the raft got momentarily stuck. Perhaps Dolores’ greatest joy was being a mom and grandma. She relished being with her grandkids, and family was her life.

Dolores leaves behind a loving family including daughters Julie (Scott) Colby and Lisa (Julian) Laurenz of Richland, WA; grandchildren Sean (Kathleen) Colby, Nick (Katie) Colby, and Gabi Laurenz; great-grandchildren Abby and Cooper (Nick); sisters-in-law Sharon Burks and Shirley Burks; and many nieces and nephews and their children. Dolores was preceded in death by her husband, Leo Burks; parents, sister Barbara (Tracy) Bill, brother-in-law James Bill, brothers Robert Tracy and Ronald Tracy; mother-in-law Edith Moore Burks; brothers-in-law Bob, Don, Bill, Frank, Russell, and Wally Burks; sisters-in-law Barbara Burks and Joann Riley; and nephew David Burks.

A viewing will be held on Saturday, Jan. 6, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m at Einan’s at Sunset, Richland, WA. A memorial service will begin at 11:00 (which will also be live streamed via Einan’s website), followed by a public burial at Einan’s Sunset Gardens. The family invites you to share your memories in the online guest book at www.einansatsunset.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to KC Help Tri-Cities, the Alzheimer’s Association, or the American Cancer Society.

You were a truly special daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandma, great grandma, aunt, and friend who will live on in our hearts forever. We love you, mom.

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Nancy “Dolores” Burks

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  • Wonderful service. I have many wonderful memories of Deloris. She will be missed. Rest in peace.

    Kelly Colby
    January 6, 2024
    Green Valley, AZ
  • You who,

    You will be greatly missed by all of your caregivers. Thank you for all of the memories, laughter, and love.

    We miss you,

    Yesenia, Hailee, Shella, Arely, Pam, Pon, Maggie, Manjit, Nyla, and Hannah.

    Yesenia Erath
    January 1, 2024
    Kennewick, WA
  • As a young attorney in the mid 1980’s, I was blessed to have Dolores as my executive secretary at Hanford. Dolores was phenomenal in both in work ethic and competency. More importantly, she was a delightful person, and she helped create a wonderful work environment for me. I am grateful to her for enjoyable memories of my work at Hanford. My love and condolences to the family!

    Lowell Barber
    December 17, 2023
    Richland, WA
  • Aunt Delores I will never forget you 🩷

    Shelly
    December 11, 2023
    Richland wa
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