133 Mason St., Onalaska, WI • Call (608) 788-2188


Doris (Woodruff) Burgess

December 20, 2020 | 0 comments

Doris (Woodruff) Burgess passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Doris was born on April 4, 1920 in Denver, Colorado to Hettie Irene Woods and Fred Farrand Woodruff. She graduated from Milwaukee Downer College in 1943 and was hired as the Director of Occupational Therapy at the Crippled Children’s Hospital in Richmond Virginia. While there, she became the penpal of a soldier, Edward (Ted) West Burgess. When he returned from the war they were married in Denver, Colorado in 1945. Ted enrolled at the University of Chicago and their first child, Lynne, was born. After college, Ted joined the Foreign Service and their incredible life journey began. Their second child, Mary, was born in Alexandria, Egypt; and two sons, Ed and John, in Rangoon, Burma.

Doris wrote her memoir in 2009, a wonderful gift for her family. It chronicles their travels and life abroad. In 1975, Ted retired from the Foreign Service and accepted a position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Both Lynne and John had settled in a Holmen, WI coulee so they purchased a small farm there and visited regularly. Eventually Ed and his family moved into the farmhouse and they rented a mobile home nearby to continue regular visits. When Ted was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992, they moved to The Village at Manor Park in West Allis, because it offered needed support for Ted. After he passed away in May 2011, Doris continued to live there until she moved to the Memory Care Unit at Eagle Crest North in Onalaska, WI in 2018.  

Doris embraced life with kindness and compassion. Her love was unconditional. She was a role model for all who knew and loved her. Her mantra, “Bloom where you are planted” lives in our hearts.

Doris is survived by her four children Lynne (Keith) Valiquette, Mary (Nicholas) Avrakotos, Edward (Annette Valeo) Burgess, John (Barbara) Burgess; nine grandchildren, Anna (Ger) Yang, Sarah (Justin) Michael, Noah (Andrea) Burgess, Aaron (Paige) Avrakotos, Avery Avrakotos, Nolan Avrakotos, Edward Burgess, Haley Burgess, and Natalie Burgess, and three great grandchildren (with a fourth on the way), Theo Yang, Quentin Yang, Autumn Yang, and Baby Burgess.

Her family is deeply grateful for the love and compassion she received at Eagle Crest North. Together with the Mayo Clinic hospice program, their staff made it possible for her to leave this world gently, surrounded by love.

Celebration of Life is planned for the summer, 2021.

Memorial gifts in her name, can be sent to your favorite charity, to Heifer International [heifer.org], Wisconsin Parkinson Association [wiparkinson.org], or to the Eagle Crest North Employee Appreciation Fund [eaglecrestlife.org/donate].

Please visit this website created by her family: https://everloved.com/life-of/doris-burgess/ Her family encourages you to share your memories there.



Post Your Condolences

Important: Condolences are approved before being posted. Condolences are not private, but viewable to the public.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Celebrate Life Together

Call or send a message using the buttons below...
Call (608) 788-2188Send a Message