Neva Elaine (Lani) Burdick, 85, passed away at the Wm. B. Ririe Hospital in Ely, Nevada, after lingering health issues, on June 24, 2017.
Neva was born in Ely, Nevada on August 19, 1931, to Albert and Lida Lani, their 7th child of 12 and second girl.
Her Mother came to Ely from the Rutherford Ranch on Currant Creek to give birth. Neva was born at her Grandmother, Maud Bardmess’ home, being accompanied by her two-year-old brother, Donnie, who refused to leave the bed. The Dr. Ririe told Lida to let him sit there, so he did and behaved himself quite well. The doctor told Lida that Neva Elaine was the prettiest name he had heard.
During the Depression Years the family moved back to Ely. Neva was always a busy child and when her younger sister, Eileen was a toddler, she would take her into the dirt street in front of their home to play. Her Mother curtailed that by tying a rope around Neva’s waist and the other end to the house porch so she had limited running range.
Neva was a huge help to her Mom as she grew older, she loved to wash clothes for everyone in the household! Lida told her she was going to wear out the clothes washing them before they could wear them out.
Neva married Walter A. Burdick in 1947 and had three sons: Walter (Tooter), Kenneth and Randy They lived at the Ibapah Highway Maintenance Station near the Moorman Ranch for a period of time, then into Ely. They later lived at the Schellbourne Maintenance Station for several years while the boys were growing up. It was here the boys learned to love the outdoors.
The family moved to East Ely which was the last move Neva made. Neva & Walt divorced after over 50 years of marriage.
Neva was one to keep busy all the time with handicrafts and raising her family.
In the 1950s she bought young chickens, ducks and rabbits, dyed them Easter colors and displayed them for sale in Hall’s Hardware Store in the 500 block of Aultman, much to the delight of area children. In 1964, she opened The Malt Shop, housed in the old Rowan Paint building, a fast food restaurant a half block from the High School which was greatly supported. After hours she’d hold dances for the teens in town.
It wasn’t long before she bought a home in East Ely on East 10th Street where she opened Ken’s Drive In, a favorite place to eat by many regulars. She ran that business for several years hiring teens as carhops, dishwashers & waitresses, with Randy helping cook. Neva ran a tight ship and her employees learned proper work ethics & habits from an adept task maker.
After selling the drive-in she started a Home and Business Cleaning Service – right down her alley. She hired teenagers to work in The Broom Brigade, they cleaned the streets, painted fire hydrants, sidewalks and cleaned up the streets in general. She also contracted with several people in and around White Pine County to clean businesses, rest areas, homes and whatever else was dirty! She kept herself and family members, including her sister, Deloros Steward busy fulfilling her endeavors. She continued this business along with help from her son Randy, for over 40 years until she retired, well into her 70s.
Neva’s sons, grandchildren and their families were always her first priority. She worked hard to be able to help her offspring with any need, as well as the things SHE wanted them to have! She followed and supported all the children’s 4-H, rodeo and sporting events, with Randy by her side. It kept her young at heart. She enjoyed helping people expecting nothing in return. Neva was avid supporter of the rest area on the McGill Highway. There was talk about closing it several years ago and she wrote a blistering letter to NDOT as to why it should stay open and named all the various groups, organizations, and clubs as well as the traveling public who benefitted from the facility. It remained open for several more years until it was appropriated by the County. She maintained several of the rest areas for years and always took pride in the cleanliness of the areas she serviced. So, anyone traveling any highway leaving Ely, smile as you pass by a rest area, knowing Neva was there in bygone days cleaning for traveler’s comfort – her lifelong passion.
She is preceded in death by grandparents, Luigi & Angela Lani, and Jack & Maud Bardmess; her parents, Albert & Lida Lani; her son, Randy Burdick, brothers; Emzily, Lawrence “Doll”, LeRoy, and Raymond Lani; Sisters; Ardis “Toots” Edwards and Vera Walkington & numerous other family members.
She is survived by her sons; W. A. Tooter (Patti) Burdick, of New Harmony, Utah; Kenny Burdick of McGill, Granddaughter: Brandi (Wes) Johnson, Reno, Nevada. Grandsons: Shaun (Stephanie) Burdick, Martin (Tracie), Burdick, Brady (Tina) Burdick all of Ely. Great Granddaughters: Shauna Burdick, U.S. Navy – Japan; Mya, Isabelle and Laeni Burdick, Ely and Erica Johnson, Reno. Great Grandsons: Nicholas, Wade, Cole all of Ely and Stephen Burdick, Salt Lake City, UT; Kort Johnson, U.S. Marine Corps – Pensacola FL and Weston Johnson, Reno. Also surviving are: Brothers: Don (Dona) Lani of Preston, Nevada and Glenn Lani of Roy, Utah. Sisters: Eileen (Tim) Boyce, Logandale, NV, Deloros (Tim) Steward of Ely, and Virginia “Beezy” (Glade) Tobiasson of Logandale, NV.
She is also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews. The family gives thanks the medical staff at Wm. B. Ririe Hospital for their kindness and care given to Neva during her stay. Special gratitude is given to Tracie Gust for her expertise and help when she visited Neva, and to Joanne and Heather with Genesis Home Health for their above and beyond attentiveness to Neva during home confinement the past several years.
At her request, there will be no services. Those wishing to remember Neva please contribute to a charity of your choice.
She will be cremated and her cremains will be interred later with those of her youngest son, Randy in the Ely Cemetery.