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Verjean (Jean) M Burden

January 8, 2024 | 6 comments

Verjean (Jean) M Burden, 71 of West Salem peacefully passed away on November 07, 2023 at her home from an aggressive form of cancer. Jean was born in Spooner, Wisconsin on November 14, 1951 to Paul and Virginia Burden, but grew up wherever her father was stationed in the Navy. During summer vacations, she enjoyed staying with her grandparents, Jerry and Ida Mae Casler on their family farm in Spooner.

After high school, and graduation from a two year college, Jean enlisted in the Navy during the Vietnam War. She was among the first group of women to serve on a noncombatant ship, the USS Norton Sound and may have been one of the first women to be discharged from the Navy due to seasickness. Jean wanted to be an officer, she accomplished this by completing a BS degree allowing her to to apply for Officer Candidate School with the US Army where she was commissioned as an Army Lieutenant. While serving at her first duty station, she sustained a severe injury, changing her life. Jean returned to school and earned a MS degree from UW-La Crosse and worked part-time until her health dictated otherwise.

Education and her health impacted her life and, in her desire to help others, she established the Verjean M Burden Endowed Scholarship for nursing students at the Western Technical College Foundation. Jean had a lifelong passion for learning, reading, nature, parks, and art and culture. She was passionate about Texas Hold’em and spent time reading and studying the game and enjoyed playing Texas Hold’em with her poker buddies. When she came home, she would often recount the play of the final table. No matter what challenges she faced in life, she remained optimistic and positive and tried her best.

Jean is survived by best friend, Chris Csontos, special nieces Christi (Laura) Burden, Jodi (Richard) Petersen, and Michal (John) Napoloszek. She is further survived by sister-in-law Debbie Burden (Gary, deceased), sister Adele, and friends Daniel (Teresa) Csontos, Gary (Joyce) Csontos, David (Catherine) Csontos, her aunt Mary Sullivan and other nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jean was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents.

Following military funeral honors, Jean’s interment took place at the Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, Wisconsin on December 06, 2023. In accordance with Jean’s wishes, there will be no memorial service.



  1. Wayne Hanson

    Jean & Chris, it was such a pleasure meeting and getting to know you both over the years. We met at the poker table and grew to being friendly competition at the card table and so much more. You will be missed and never forgotten

  2. Dan Jarecki

    Jean – you will always be a special friend. Loved playing poker with you & talking about all the things we talked about. Chris, anything you need, let us know.

  3. Joan N

    Jean and Chris I have known you for many many many years …you are great people. With always the good story to tell. You will be missed Jean, Chris we will be in touch.

  4. Linda

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked with Jean many many years at Fish and Wildlife. I always found her to be kind and pleasant to talk with. God bless.

  5. Jill Munson

    This broke my heart! I remember running into you the night we had a Bear on the run. I always knew you were an amazing lady! Your walking buddies! Jill and Sherry

  6. Anne Anderson

    Nicely done, Chris. A day does not go by that you and Jean are in my thoughts. May the heavens smile on you.


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