Obituary of Betty G. Barna
Betty G. (Burdick) Barna
Rochester: September 2, 2019, at the age of 90. Betty is predeceased by the love of her life & husband, Joseph Barna; siblings, Millie (Wally), Kenny (Thelma), Had (Joyce) & Doris (Les). She is survived by her sons, Gary (Beverly) Barna, Christopher (Susan) Barna and Mark Barna; grandchildren, Valentina Barna, Alexander (Diane LoManto) Barna, Elizabeth Barna & Matthew Barna; mother and grandmother to her extended Thesing family, special friends, Debbie Elliott, Dorothy Butler & Judy Ernenwein; loving nieces & nephews. Betty’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Pat Frearson and her compassionate & caring team at Fleming Point.
Betty’s life story will be shared during visitation which will be held 4-7 PM on Thursday, September 5th at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated 11 AM on Friday at St. John The Evangelist Church, 2400 West Ridge Rd. Interment in Hillside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to American Heart Assn., PO Box 3049, Syracuse, NY 13220-3049 or Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, 99 Victor Road, Fairport, NY 14450 in Betty’s memory.
Betty was born on August 23rd 1929 in Honesdale, PA. She played violin as a small child. At age 10, her dad brought a piano home for her to play. Betty was self-taught and her father played accordion and the guitar. They always enjoyed playing together. She took the piano with her when she got married and left home.
Betty was married to ‘the love of her life,’ Joe, for 41 years. They met at W T Grant Co. Betty and Joe had three boys – Chris, Gary and Mark – and the family relocated several times while Joe was working as a Grants store manager. Betty was a nurturing mother and for many years stayed home to maintain a loving home for their children. They had various pets over the years, dogs, cats, hamsters, a rabbit, fish, and snakes.
After Betty and Joe married, they left Honesdale and moved to the Syracuse area. Joe’s job took them to Holley and then they settled in Kendall, NY. Betty, Joe and the boys often returned to visit Betty’s siblings in Honesdale, PA and in Beaver Meadows, PA where Joe’s family lived. Their favorite side trip was to Lancaster, PA. She loved all the food and crafts created by the Amish and they visited there often. After Joe passed away, Betty moved to Irondequoit with her son, Gary. He and his wife Bev would take her on trips to see the families in Pennsylvania and to Lancaster. Her younger sister, Doris, was her confidante and they would talk for hours by phone every Saturday night. They visited each other on occasion and even went on a trip to Lancaster together.
Betty became involved in her church many years ago and she often played the organ and sang at Sunday mass at St. Mary’s church in Holley, NY and St. Mark’s church in Kendall, NY. She enjoyed music so much that she began playing and singing at various weddings and funerals. Her voice was amazing…
Betty was an avid book reader and loved the romance novels of Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel. She loved taking care of her grandchildren and having them over for sleepovers. Betty was a very independent lady. After her husband Joe passed, she took care of the house in Kendall, even mowing the lawn (but only after being dressed nice with lipstick and earrings on). A sweet, kind, gentle lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Betty always kept every house they lived in clean and organized. She cooked three meals a day for her family. She would let her kids take in stray animals, they had dogs (Ladd, Buffy), cats (Heidi), also mice, snakes, birds, and fish for pets. Because of her husband’s job, the family moved a lot. Betty always made the moves easier on the children.
July 1967, her family took a vacation at Lake George, NY., where they stayed at the Tom-Ro Motel Cottage. They went to many theme parks and visited Fort William Henry. It was a memorable trip. On December 1969 in Liverpool, NY, like every other Christmas holiday, they would open presents early Christmas Morning, But the kids could not play with any presents until they got home from Church on Christmas day. Betty was very strict on that.
September 1964, Betty and Joe took their children to see the new movie Mary Poppins at Dewitt Drive in Theater on Erie Blvd. East. This drive-in theater was very big and had food and snack shops. Chris still has fond memories of seeing that movie. In 1966, 11 Wexford Road, Dewitt, NY, Betty would walk Chris to piano lessons about a half mile away. She would have her kids sing popular songs with her and at times she would say "You are not singing in harmony with me." Betty's dream house was at 19 Hanley Road, Liverpool, NY. They bought the house in 1968 and she loved that house. It was only 9 months old when they purchased it. Then her husband got transferred to a Grants store in Albion, NY in 1970, so they had to sell the house. Betty talked about that house many years later. Betty always had the children watch television on Saturday mornings. Chris still remembers from the early 70's- The Banana Splits, HR Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos, and Lidsville. Betty was very good about showing the kids new things. In school she always supported her children, and basically did what parents are meant to do. Chris remembers the birthday parties she had for all of them, they were always well thought out, the same for holidays, especially Christmas and Easter.
When Mark was afraid to go to school at about age 5, he cried and refused to get on the school bus. Betty got on the bus with him and the bus driver looped around the block so he could calm down. At age 20, Mark was trying to get a job after college and his mom drove him to an employment agency in downtown Rochester. He spoke with someone inside for a half hour and when he came out, his mom was still there in the hallway waiting. That left an impression with Mark that she had stuck around for him. Some of Mark’s favorite memories were the silent, home movie footage of his mom reading words off a monument in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Betty was a great mother. She was independent, loving, proud and selfless. Betty Barna, or the name given on her Birth Certificate, Elizabeth Geraldine Burdick, (now Barna) was a very well-loved person who had no enemies and was a blessing to all who knew her. She is well loved.