Jo Burt
Jo Burt
Jo Burt

Obituary of Jo Anna Burt

Jo Anna Burt (1929–2023)

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life ... Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:10-12, 28 NIV


Jo Anna Burt, 94, of Surprise Arizona, died at home at The Oasis at Fellowship Square Assisted Living on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. She was born in Parsons, Kansas April 9, 1929, to Joseph & Cora Barnes, followed 5 years later by brother Jim Barnes. They moved to California settling in the Venice area in the early 1940’s to follow their large extended Reasor family. Jo Anna was the first grandchild, becoming the favorite of her aunts & uncles, and looked up to by the cousins. She benefited greatly by living nearby her extended family during WWII. She was very helpful to her Aunt Carrie (who was just 6 years older) while her husband was away serving. Most recently Jo Anna stated, “My mother never really taught me how to cook or keep house. What she did teach me was how to lead a PTA meeting, take minutes, and record accurate bookkeeping records.” This, however, does not keep us from sharing her recipes for favorites like her macaroni & cheese, persimmon cookies, and homemade ice cream.


Jo Anna attended Venice High School where she was a good student and enjoyed playing the violin. She married her high school sweetheart Boley “Bud” Burt on July 24, 1948, at Venice Baptist Church. Bud & Jo Anna welcomed Gary Edward, Barbara Lyn, and Richard James to their family. Her children meant the world to her. Bud’s career path took them around California and Oregon. Through every move, Jo Anna was the family’s biggest cheerleader handling all the details. With each location they connected with a local church where many lifelong friendships were discovered, and they found outlets to exercise their gifts of music, service, and hospitality. As empty nesters, Jo Anna and Bud chose to return to the Los Angeles area to care for her mother during the final years of her life. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Jo Anna used her administrative skills at the Guidance Office of Culver City High School. It was her joy to organize commencement ceremonies for several years.


They retired in 1993 moving to Wickenburg AZ. As active retirees, they followed the activities of their children and grandchildren traveling to cross country meets, basketball games, track meets, choir performances, plays, boot camp ceremonies, graduations, and weddings. Their presence communicated love in many ways. Jo Anna treasured time with her kids, grandkids and great grandkids and loved being a part of their lives, never failing to send birthday cards with a dollar for every year. She was fondly named “Great Gramma Toots” by her first great grandchild, a title she accepted with pride.


Together, Jo Anna and Bud served at Calvary Baptist Church, Wickenburg, in leadership, music, office volunteer, building projects, and traveling on mission trips to the Navajo Nation and to Spain. Their home was a great place of hospitality hosting small groups, sharing mealtimes, and providing a place to stay to travelers. Jo Anna served as treasurer for Southwest Conservative Baptist Women, sharing her administrative skills for many women’s retreats at Prescott Pines. She loved to read, and the church library truly was her happy place. Those who knew her call her “a precious lady, an example of faithful service, full of hope and trust in Jesus.” She and Bud were cited by author Joy Gage as being “models for us ‘youngsters’ because of the way they chose to “add life to their years”.  Most recently Jo Anna and Bud have been blessed to attend Grace Bible Church in Sun City because of the Truth that is taught, the amazing music program each week, and the thoughtful ride-share ministry provided to them when they no longer could drive.


Jo Anna as our family's historian is now silent. She will always be remembered for being “the one” who kept in touch through her card ministry at birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends. God has fulfilled every promise He ever made to her mustard seed of faith. As she now is absent from the body, she is present with the Lord. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalms 116:15 NIV


Jo Anna was preceded in death by her parents, Joe & Cora Barnes, several aunts, and uncles. She is survived by her husband, Bud Burt, Surprise, AZ; brother Jim (& Shirley) Barnes, Spring TX; son Gary (& Karrie) Burt, Sun City AZ; daughter, Barb (& Gary) Golike, Gretna NE; son Richard (& Teresa) Burt, Delta CO; grandchildren Joe Golike (& Krystal Kehrli), Denver CO; Jill Golike (& Martin Goodenberger), Stoneham MA; Jan (& Neil) Gilsdorf, Gretna NE; Kyle Burt & Lauren Burt New York City NY; Jackie (& Jonathan) Harviston, Phoenix AZ; Joseph (& Laura) Felgenhauer, Spokane WA;  Great Grandchildren: Emalyn, Eliza, & Nora Gilsdorf, Gretna NE; William Golike, Stoneham MA; Adler & Gavin Golike, Denver CO; Alaina Harviston, Phoenix AZ; Melanie Felgenhauer, Spokane WA.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held for Jo Anna Burt Saturday, December 30, 2023, at 2 pm The Grand Canyon Room at Fellowship Square Surprise 16477 W. Bell Road, Surprise AZ 85374. Guests are encouraged to park in Sam’s Club parking lot as space is limited.


In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the Transportation Ministry of Grace Bible Church by mail: 19280 N. 99th Avenue, Sun City, AZ 85373 or online at this link: "Provisions of Grace" in memory of Jo Anna Burt.