Burdell Y. Stirtz

Burdell Y. Stirtz, age 95, of Missouri Valley, Iowa, passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Burdell was born July 1, 1925 in Purple Cane, Nebraska to Frank and Christena T. Kocour (Reker). Burdell was raised in North Bend, Nebraska then moved to Modale, Iowa in 1941. Burdell graduated from the Modale High School in 1943. In 1944, Burdell began working at Safeway Grocery Store in Missouri Valley. On June 20, 1946, Burdell married Vernon (Bud) Stirtz at the United Methodist Church of Missouri Valley, Iowa. Shortly after marriage, Bud and Burdell moved north of Missouri Valley where she played an integral part in the family farm and raised three children, Bill, Beth, and Barry. Once the kids grew, Burdell chose to work outside the home at Kopper Kettle in Missouri Valley for many years. In 1994, Burdell started a home daycare where over the next decade she was able to care for her grandchildren and several other children, a true passion and calling of hers. Burdell always kept herself busy and involved. She was active in 4H, one of the original organizers of the Calhoun Sunshine Makers, and a member of the United Methodist Church of Missouri Valley. Burdell enjoyed attending county fairs, gardening, sewing, and playing cards. She was quite the artist, as well, with ceramics, decoupage, floral arrangements, and painting. She continued to grow the beautiful irises that her mother was known for and passed them down to her children and grandchildren to keep the tradition alive. One of Burdell’s greatest joys was spending time with family. Whether known as Birdie, Mommo, Grandma, or GG she was loved dearly by all. Missed the most will be her endearing hugs and loving smiles…not to mention her snowman pancakes, cinnamon and sugar French toast, ability to stay up playing games for hours, and always managing to pass off the Queen in a game of hearts.

Burdell is preceded in death by her husband, parents, brother (Don Kocour), and sister and brother-in-law (Shirley and Pete Behm).

Survivors include her son William Stirtz of Mondamin, daughter Bethine (Steve) Kenkel of Grinnell, Iowa, and son Barry (Michele) Stirtz of Missouri Valley, Iowa. Five grandchildren: Brian (Cara) Kenkel, Allison (Scott) Pease both of Grinnell, Iowa, Kelly (Mark) Whitehair of Wamego, Kansas, Austin (Dannielle) Stirtz of Logan, Iowa, and Marshal Stirtz of Missouri Valley, Iowa. Six Great-Grandchildren: Sydney, Nicholas and Isabelle Kenkel and Lauren, Della, and Tyler Pease all of Grinnell, Iowa. Two brothers: Ken (Mary) Kocour of Rockwell City, Iowa and Larry (Pat) Kocour of Missouri Valley and Sister In Law: Sara Kocour of Missouri Valley, Iowa: in addition to many nieces, nephews and numerous friends.

No services are planned at this time.

Arrangements by Hennessey Funeral Home.



  • Roger and Karen McIntosh Posted November 10, 2020 5:52 pm

    Hugs and prayers to all the Stirtz family. Ever life leaves beautiful memories behind. Burdell left many for her family and friends. She was a lovely lady.

  • Marilyn & Jerry Keizer Posted November 11, 2020 1:46 pm

    Our sincere sympathy to your family. Burdell was our next door neighbor when we moved to Missouri Valley. She was such a kind, sweet soul.

  • Nancy Stirtz DETWEILER Posted November 11, 2020 5:35 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family Stirtz family. Burdell was the best.

  • Nancy Stirtz D Posted November 11, 2020 8:07 pm

    All my sympathy to the family. Burdell was such a wonderful lady.

  • John and Sharon Muse Posted November 12, 2020 4:51 pm

    So sorry for your loss. She was always so much fun to be around.

  • Gary Guge Posted November 12, 2020 8:29 pm

    Our sincere sympathy to Burdell’s family. Burrell was such a pleasant lady. She was active as a 4-H leader for many years. Taught life skills to many 4’H girls over the years.

  • Sue Stirtz Miller Posted November 19, 2020 6:57 am

    So wish I could give you all a hug! Aunt Burdell was a very special lady and I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • Mark Stirtz Posted November 21, 2020 8:27 am

    I am so sorry to hear about Aunt Burdell’s passing. She was a terrific lady and will be missed. I feel fortunate to have seen her when I was home last time. She will be missed.

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