NAPERVILLE — Helen Kocoras Burkland, 84, died peacefully on Friday June 7, 2019. She was born on Jan. 26, 1935 and raised in a Greek community on the south side of Chicago. Helen was a woman with a brilliant and curious mind, boundless generosity, and tremendous resilience. She lived in Rochelle, Rockford, and of late, Naperville, surrounded by the love of her husband, children, siblings, and their families.
Ellwood Burkland, affectionately known as Woody, met her at a soda fountain and swept her off her feet when she was a high school senior. They married 65 years ago and had four children, Michael (Sophia) Burkland, Mark (Miriam) Burkland, Maria (Blaine) Fischer and Adriane (Keith) Harrison and six grandchildren, Thomas and Katharine Burkland, Lauren and Luke Fischer, and Eleanor and Darcy Harrison. Woody and Helen created a deeply loving and fiercely devoted family.
Helen never met a cookbook she didn’t love, amassing a large and eclectic collection representing the evolution of food and cuisine over many decades. She also loved Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, poetry, history, classic movies, and books…about everything. As a result, she was the most sought-after team member in family Trivial Pursuit marathons. Helen was deeply religious person, who worked in the service of God and his flock, whether it was volunteering at the church soup kitchen, helping with funerals, delivering meals on wheels, singing in the choir, or visiting shut-ins. She also loved roses and spent many years cultivating her garden to stunning results. She was a life-long learner and had valuable perspective and wisdom about so much of what was happening in the world.
We will honor Helen in a memorial service to be held on Saturday, June 15 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 815 S. Washington, Naperville, IL 60540. The visitation will begin at 1 p.m., service at 2 p.m., with a reception and light meal immediately following. We invite family and friends to gather and honor Helen’s memory, celebrate her life, and mourn her death.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Helen’s memory may be made to: The Salvation Army USA, c/o The Salvation Army National Headquarters, 615 Slaters Lane, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22313, 1-800-SAL-ARMY, email: [email protected], https://give.salvationarmyusa.org
Arrangements by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville.
For more information, please visit www.friedrich-jones.com or call 630-355-0213.