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Rev. Robert L. Burnett, retired Presbyterian pastor, passed away in Des Moines on January 13 at the age of 90, surrounded by his loving family. Bob was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather; a man of deep faith; and a longtime leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) where he put his faith into action through his extensive service at both the Presbytery and Synod levels. Bob was born May 11, 1929 to Ezra and Frieda Burnett of Terre Haute, Ind., and graduated from Purdue University with a degree in civil engineering. He began his career as an aircraft engineer for Boeing in Seattle and became active in a local Presbyterian church, where he met Jeanne Rolstad of Yakima, Wash. Bob and Jeanne were married on April 11, 1953. Bob continued working at Boeing but increasingly felt called to ministry, a call that he answered in 1954 when he enrolled at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The couple moved to San Anselmo, Calif., and lived there until Bob completed his coursework in 1957. He went on to serve churches in Wamego, Kan.; Indianola, Iowa; and Worthington, Minn. During that time he continued his theological education, taking his family to the San Francisco area over several summers until he earned his D.Min. degree in 1970.

Upon the death of his father in 1970, Bob inherited some real estate in Indiana that ultimately had to be sold, a process that drew him into the real estate business. For the next 30 years he owned and managed several rental properties in the Des Moines area while remaining active in ministry as a teacher and guest preacher. A lifelong lover of animals, Bob became renowned for training horses and donkeys, delighting friends and neighbors who attended his horse shows that became a highly anticipated summer event on the south side of Des Moines. He and Jeanne were also active ballroom dancers and developed many friendships through their weekly dance gatherings.

Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, Jeanne; daughter Paula Burnett of Bettendorf, Iowa; daughter Karla Myers (Peter) of St. Paul, Minn; son Brenton Burnett (Heidi Wicks) of Denver, Colo.; grandchildren Geoff Myers (Erin Myers); Laura Saavedra Myers (Jorge Saavedra); Kelly Myers; and Romy Burnett; great granddaughter Claire Myers; and stepsister Rita Nugent (Mike) of Rotunda West, Fla. A service of remembrance will be held at Park Avenue Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 11:00 a.m. preceded by visitation at 10:00 a.m. Memorials are preferred to Des Moines Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, American Red Cross or Unbridled Spirits (a home for retired horses), 5617 Cedar Creek Rd. NE, Lisbon, IA, 52255.

Service Details

Visitation:
Saturday, February 15, 2020
10:00 am to 11:00 am
Park Avenue Presbyterian
3120 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Service:
Saturday, February 15, 2020
11:00 am
Park Avenue Presbyterian
3120 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Disposition:
Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines
Arrangements:
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
(515) 285-3911

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