Obituary: Dorothy Betsy Burk

Obituary: Dorothy Betsy Burk

Dorothy Betsy Schram was born on November 19, 1925 in Birregurra Victory Australia, the third of nine children, to Stan and Elsie Schram. She was known by many names, Dottie, Dorothy, Autie Bett, Betsy, Mum. Dorothy’s life was the epitome of a life well lived. She was always up for anything whether it be a grand adventure or sharing a cup of tea and chatting about life.

Dorothy was always immaculately dressed, if she was going out to dinner or just to get the mail at the end of the sidewalk, she always looked her best. Dorothy’s nails and hair were always beautifully done and she took such pride in her appearance, it would make those around her giggle that it took her ages to get ready.

She also prided herself on keeping a neat and tidy home, both inside and out. She would spend time tending to her roses, as well the various plants and trees around her home, always being sure to sweep her driveway and walkway clean. Dorothy was a wonderful cook and would regularly have dinner parties for those fortunate to be welcomed into her home. She was also a very talented artist, she took a painting class where she learned to paint on pieces of China. Many of her pieces were displayed in her home, her favorites were the ones of roses.

Family held the upmost importance to Dorothy and she always kept in close touch with her family in Australia, visiting to commemorate her 90th birthday and spend a few months at Christmas and also travelling to Australia when her dear mum turned 100 so she could celebrate with her. Many of her extended family would come to the states and visit her over the years, always staying in touch with calls and cards, she remained an Australian citizen until the day she passed.

Dorothy was blessed with two of the most wonderful husbands anyone could ever have. She met Tommy Sparks at a military dance while he was stationed in Australia, serving in the USMC. He filled her dance card for the entire evening and their future was sealed, Dorothy and Tommy were married not long after. Dorothy and Tommy had one son, Tommy Jr., lovingly known as Sparky.

She and Sparky came to America on a war bride ship and lived with Tommy’s parents until he was done with his service in Australia. She was very proud to be a war bride and would reminisce about their travels which included living on many bases in the states during Tommy’s time in the military. She had very fond memories of their time on base in Hawaii, where one of her favorite pastimes was playing golf with the other military wives.

After Tommy retired, they moved back to Australia for a few years, where she used her hairdressing certificate to work in the field of cosmetology. Upon moving back to the states, they settled in Grass Valley, CA, where they built a new home. The passing of her only child and the first love of her life was only eased by the knowledge that they were together again and watching over her.

In the mid 1980’s, Dorothy met her second husband, Bruce Burk. Dorothy and Bruce spent time traveling, golfing, entertaining friends at their home and visiting her family in Australia, they married on November 20, 1985. Bruce and Dorothy met many lifelong friends through Dorothy’s love of entertaining and Bruce’s love of wood bird carving. Many of his works were displayed in her home and she loved to tell stories about each one of them. She lovingly and compassionately cared for Bruce for fourteen years after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until he unfortunately passed away.

In 2016, Dorothy moved to Carson City, NV where she resided until her passing on December 14, 2022. She was an avid watcher of all things political and had very strong opinions on the matters of the day and would share them with anyone who would listen. Her sense of humor was top notch and she was always ready with a saying befitting of the situation. “Change is as good as a holiday”, “It’s colder than a well diggers bottom”, “Come in if you’re good looking” or “It’s as much trouble as a mouse at a christening”.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents Stan and Elsie Schram, siblings Jeane, Sydney (Jim), Mildred, William (Billy), and Hughie, son Tommy Sparks Jr. (Sparky), and her two beloved husbands Tommy Sparks and Bruce Burk. She leaves behind her siblings Margaret, Janet, and John, many nieces and nephews, grandsons Tommy and Todd, many friends and her beloved cat.

She was an enthusiastic supporter of the military and gave to many Veteran’s charities over the years. Donations in her name would be graciously accepted to any one of the worthy organizations which support Veterans.

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