Melvin Burnett, 1923-2018

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Funeral services for Melvin K. Burnett will be at noon Wednesday at St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Kurt Farrell will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at St. Theodore Catholic Cemetery.

Melvin Burnett

Melvin Kenneth Burnett passed away Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community. He was 95.

Melvin was born March 10, 1923, to parents Arthur and Jenny Burnett in LeSueur County. He was raised in Cordova, where he attended a country school. At the age of 19 he married the love of his life, Helen Svoboda, on Aug. 19, 1941, in Lexington.

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He was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1944 and served in World War II until February 1946. A member of the Army’s 3rd Division, he was among the men who waged a month-long assault to breach the Siegfried Line, also known as Hitler’s West Wall, helping bring an end to the war.   

Melvin worked as a heavy equipment operator for the city of Albert Lea for 10 years and Freeborn County for 23 years. He was a member of the Albert Lea Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

At the age of 91 he enjoyed an honor flight to Washington, D.C., where he was able to visit the World War II memorial. His name is listed on the memorial’s electronic registry of Americans who contributed to the war effort.

He had his morning coffee hangouts in Albert Lea. Melvin was known for his sense of humor and the way he jokingly teased people. He enjoyed eating sweets — especially donut holes and chocolate ice cream. His generous heart will be dearly missed.

Survivors include his children Beverly Kentner Clausen of Minneapolis and Arizona, Ronald (Karen) Burnett) of Eden Prairie, Julie Brua Markley of Bloomington and Brad (Kris) Burnett of Albert Lea; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and many other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; parents Arthur and Jenny; children David Burnett and Kenneth Burnett; daughter-in-law, Diane Burnett; sons-in-law Dean Kentner and Richard Clausen; and siblings Arthur Jr., Donald Burnett, Gloria Meyer and Marie Pelant.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the charity of the donor’s choice in Melvin’s honor is appreciated.