Marlene Burr Ward, 76, of Mesa, AZ passed away peacefully in her home Sunday, July 22, 2018. The wake will be begin at 5:00 PM CDT on July 27, 2018 at the Twin Buttes Memorial Hall, Twin Buttes. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM CDT on Saturday July 28, 2018 at Twin Buttes Memorial Hall. Burial will follow at Burr Family Cemetery.
Dr. Marlene Burr Ward, “Where She Lives is Sacred,” was born to Evan Burr Sr. and Gertrude (Jacobs) Burr January 8, 1942 in Elbowoods ND. She is survived by the love of her life Dr. Michael Ward. She is also survived by her children Dr. Michael (Bobbi) Christensen, Hon. David Christensen, Reva Cherese (Dewayne) Lewis, and Devon Ward. Grandchildren Justin Christensen, Benjamin Christensen, Kendra Roland, Tylor Christensen, Hayley Christensen, Jordan Christensen, Ashley Hensley and Jay Ward Lewis and (5) great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers Evan (Joy) Burr Jr., Larry (Rita) Burr, Lonnie Burr, Debbie (Jim) Wilson, and Tracy (Gilda) Burr. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. Marlene was preceded in death by her parents, sister Reva (Vic) Boepple, brothers Dennis (Joyce) Burr and Roger (Verna) Old Mouse. She was also preceded by nephew Dennis Burr Jr., and niece Shannon Burr.
Marlene was a dreamer, learner and a teacher. She believed everyone deserved to have their own dreams and the chance to live and become them. From her humble roots she dreamed of having a good family, seeing the world and learn about everything she could. Without a doubt she lived and became what she dreamed of. She lived a loving, full and wonder filled life. She lived a life of humility, kindness and respectful for all.
Marlene grew up in a large family on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation with friends and relatives always around. She loved them all. She attended school in Elbowoods through the 7th grade until the family moved to Twin Buttes following the construction of the Garrison Dam. Her 8th grade year was spent in Twin Buttes where there was no teacher. She and another student taught all of the classes that year with her father coming in to check on them from time to time. She attended Halliday High School and graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1959. She continued her formal education over the years, earning a Bachelor’s degree, masters and eventually a doctoral degree in education from the University of North Dakota. She was an educator. Marlene taught school in Twin Buttes, worked in Pine Ridge, United Tribes, Taholah WA and Cincinnati OH. The students she taught always had a special place in her heart.
Marlene met the love of her life Michael Ward while working in Pine Ridge SD in 1971. They raised a family and saw the world together living in six states over the years. They visited Europe on several occasions. Marlene visited castles, saw the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. She saw the Eiffel Tower, the Coliseum in Rome and on another trip she was given a private tour in a museum in Germany with a room dedicated to her ancestor Chief Four Bears. She once stepped down turf at a polo game in which Prince Charles played. She had a love of live theatre and performances, once seeing Elvis live in Las Vegas. She also saw Jimmy Stewart in a play in London. She had friends from all over the world. She also like to play cards, pick agates and walk on the beaches. Marlene also liked to go home for the pow wows with the familiar drums and good dancers and to see family and friends.
Marlene was rooted in family. Her little family and her big family and her family of friends. She loved them. She stayed up late to visit or console a broken hearts and offer her love and support at anytime and anywhere. She was always there in time of need. She lived her life encouraging people. Her house was often busy with family and friends who dropped in or maybe came to stay. All were welcome. She enjoyed visiting, laughing and telling stories with them all, often giving her sideways knowing look. She said all people made her life fuller and believed she learned something from everyone. Being around her for very long one gained the sense that she was a constantly learning and finding wonderment with everything and everyone. Perhaps she thought she was a collector of many dreams and that’s what made her dream come true. In her life she taught all who knew her well.
Services arranged by Barbot Funeral Home in Beulah ND.