The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Virginia 'Gig' Maria (Velin) Burchell


November 24, 2018

Virginia 'Gig' Burchell 1940 - 2018

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Virginia "Gig" Maria (Velin) Burchell, 78, of Ironwood, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, after a bout with liposarcoma cancer.

Gig was born on Sept. 2, 1940 (on Labor Day) to Dr. Verner H. Velin and Virginia F. (Puhlmann) Velin in the old Grand View Hospital, Ironwood. She graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood with the class of 1958, and loved attending monthly luncheons with classmates in recent years. She graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1963 from the School of Education.

At the university, Gig met her future husband, Raymond Burchell, while he was in dental school. They married in 1962. After graduation, they moved to Topeka, Kan., where her husband served in the Air Force. In 1967, they moved to Ironwood, where they lived, worked, and raised their family.

Gig enjoyed spending summers and autumns at Lake Gogebic, and winters in Orange Beach, Alabama, in retirement. She loved birds and flower gardening, and was especially fond of her geraniums. She also enjoyed reading, music and going to Mass every week. In recent years, her favorite way to spend a Friday night with her husband was a pizza, a TCM movie and a martini. Gig had a special fondness in her heart for her pet dogs: Brittany, Bella, Shadow, Tootsie, Annie, Prince, Dolly and Pal.

Gig was instrumental in saving the Historic Ironwood Theatre, helping spearhead its acquisition and restoration.

Gig was a devoted wife, daughter, mother, grandmother and sister who cherished her family. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Raymond Burchell, of Ironwood; son, Robert (Annette) Burchell, of Ironwood; son, Patrick (Karen) Burchell, of Evanston, Ill .; daughter, Virginia (Patrick) Tyler, of Springfield, Va .; brother, Paul (Connie) Velin, of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Emily (Eric Fitting) Burchell and Robert Burchell, of Ironwood, Elizabeth and Katherine Tyler, of Springfield, Va., and Lily Burchell, of Evanston, Ill .; niece, Rachel (Soenke) Erdmann and son, Frederick, of Ringwood, N.J .; nephew, Trevor (Meghan) Velin, and daughters, Violette and Zooey, of St. Louis Park, Minn .; cousin, David (Vonnie) Velin, of Shoreline, Wash .; cousin, Barbara (Velin) Gusick, of Oshkosh, Wis .; cousin, Clyde Schabacker, of Warren; and all of her cousins' beloved children and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents and infant son, Raymond Verner Burchell.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood with Father Robb Jurkovich officiating. There will be a visitation at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established with donations going to the Historic Ironwood Theatre and the Downtown Art Place.


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