Kelly Jean (Garrow) Burnham was born on May 24th, 1964 to Robert Alexander Garrow and Rita Ann (Parmeter) Garrow in St. Paul Minnesota. Kelly was the oldest of four children. The family moved to the Maple, Wisconsin area. It was there they made their home.
She graduated from Northwestern High School in Maple, Wisconsin in 1982. She was involved in many student organizations and varsity clubs during high school including cheerleading, choir, and danceline but had a passion for speech and drama. She competed in the Wisconsin Regional and State competitions for speech and drama during her junior and senior years of high school. She was also a finalist for the 1982 Wisconsin Teenager Pageant.
After graduating high school she had a desire to go to college and enrolled at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. She was very involved with the drama department and would assist in sewing costumes and acting in prominent roles in school productions. She was very outgoing and friendly, and made many lifelong friends during her time in college.
Upon graduating from Carroll, Kelly took numerous jobs advocating and working with disabled children and adults. She moved to St. Cloud, MN and during her time there she met Gregory Lee Burnham. The two were married in March of 1993. They had four children together—Gideon Lee, Elizabeth Karen, Jeremiah Ronald, and Hope Michael—who were the light of her life and she would have done anything for.
After Gregory and Kelly were married they moved to a small farm south of Starbuck, MN in 1995. They started attending church at First Baptist Church in Glenwood, MN, and she was baptized in the summer of 1998. She deeply loved Jesus and her life was radically transformed by Christ which was evident by how loving and kind she was to everyone she interacted with. She was very involved in all the churches she attended, and she loved and cherished many of the deep friendships she formed over years. She was incredibly thankful for her friends and how the Lord used them over the years to impact her life.
The family moved to Alexandria, MN in 1999 where Kelly raised her four kids as a stay-at-home mom. She was extremely involved in her children’s’ activities throughout their childhood and into their high school years. She especially loved watching her two sons Gideon and Jeremiah play football, her daughter Elizabeth compete in swimming, and her daughter Hope act in theatre. She loved hearing laughter fill her house when her children had their friends over and considered herself a second mom to many of their friends.
There were many things that marked Kelly’s life, but one thing that she truly enjoyed was giving gifts. Whether it was something small like getting snacks for her coworkers at CBHH, or buying clothes for her grandsons, she loved giving gifts that people would appreciate. She took joy in loving others as Christ loved her, and she loved being generous. Her life was also marked by her compassion and empathy for others. She took her past struggles with mental health and used it to mentor, encourage, and advocate for those currently struggling with mental health issues.
Kelly passed away peacefully on November 18th, 2021. She was 57 years old. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, her father Robert Garrow and her nephew Justin Lipinski.
She leaves behind her mother Rita Garrow of Lake Nebagamon, WI. Her siblings: Kimberley Garrow of San Antonio, TX, KayLynn Sheridan of Lake Nebagamon, WI, and Tom Garrow of Wheatridge, CO. Her four children: Gideon Burnham of Boise, ID, Elizabeth (Justin) Seibel of Alexandria, MN, Jeremiah (Tahlia) Burnham of Alexandria, MN and Hope Burnham of Minneapolis, MN. Her two grandsons: Micah and Eli Burnham of Alexandria, MN, many nieces and nephews, and many friends. She was deeply loved and will be dearly missed.
A visitation will be held on Friday, November 26, 2021, from 4-7 PM with a Time of Sharing beginning at 6:30PM at the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.
A Celebration of Kelly's life will take place on Saturday, November 27, 2021, at 11 AM at Church of the Harvest in Alexandria.
The Celebration of Life Service will be livestreamed and recorded on Kelly's obituary page on the Anderson Funeral Home website.