Mary Evelyn Burman

Mary Evelyn Burman, born May 22, 1959, in Laramie, died September 15, of breast cancer.  She was an outstanding three-sport athlete at Laramie High School, and three-time state champion in the 220-yard dash. With the meaning of Title IX not fully realized in the Equality State in the mid-1970s, she also sewed the uniforms for her high school volleyball team. She is survived by several spools of excess maroon thread.

After high school, Mary headed progressively east to collect all the nursing degrees; Sioux Valley Hospital (Diploma), University of Minnesota (BSN) and University of Michigan (MS, PhD). She spent several summers as the camp nurse at the U of Michigan field camp in Hoback Junction where she met Charlie DeWolf, a graduate student in Geology.  They had been married for nearly 30 years at the time of her death.  Following two years as an assistant professor at Montana State University-Billings, she returned home to Laramie, spending the rest of her career at UW.  She was Dean of the School of Nursing for eleven years, and also served as Director of Social Work and Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences. Between Mary, her brother John (Law) and her father Robert (Engineering) there was at least one family member on the UW faculty for 63 consecutive years.

Mary strongly believed in giving back to her community. She served on numerous non-profit boards including Albany County Public Health, Ivinson Memorial Hospital, the Wyoming Outdoor Council and the Wyoming Women’s Foundation. In 1999 she cofounded the Downtown Clinic. She served there as a Nurse Practitioner for a decade and on the Board for two decades.  She believed that everyone deserves quality health care, and to reserve it only for the privileged is simply immoral.

Mary loved Wyoming and spent many summers backpacking in her mountains. She also was an avid reader, quilter, photographer and gardener. She loved to cook for large gatherings of family and friends. A great day in the kitchen involved a mixture of Nordic cuisine and southern rock, both at large volume, (with a good measure or two of air guitar) assisted by daughter Ella DeWolf. Husband Charlie DeWolf did the dishes.

A memorial service will be held at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on Saturday September 23rd at 2PM. Memorials may be sent to the Downtown Clinic, Pilot Hill Inc., or the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

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Condolences (24)

  • Bonnie Zare

    Mary Burman's capacious understanding of the human spirit was something you noticed about her right away. She was one of those rare people who combined warmth with a no-nonsense rigor. She made you want to be a better person, to stand a little taller, to take on a bit more. On a personal note, I remember the sudden miscarriage I had in 2000, just a few years after I moved to Laramie. Mary's response was to promptly invite me to sit and drink tea. In her own gentle way, she explained the mind-body connection and we discovered together my body had already been teaching me for a few weeks the pregnancy was likely not going to make it. This was so reassuring because it gave me a sense of knowledge and power amidst a very keen sense of loss. I share that because that is who Mary was - a person who helped others gain a sense of inner strength and ease. I so enjoyed how she and Charlie were raising Ella and of course their kindness to one another as a family. I am sending lots of love to all who were close to Mary.

  • Michele Irwin

    What an amazing woman and supporter of Wyoming. I had the pleasure of serving with Mary on the board of WOC. She was passionate and intelligent and will be missed.

  • Dan Nelson

    We all feel the loss of this exceptional human being. I have known the entire Burman family since the early 1970s and have such fond memories of each one of them. Most recently most of my contact with Mary and Charlie was through our worship and activities at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Charlie and I sat next to each other in the cathedral choir for many years singing our hearts out with Mary worshiping from the congregation.Ella occasionally offered a instrumental treat. Mary was an elegant lady, a loyal friend and most certainly a brave and courageous human being. I always enjoyed being around her. Each one of us had her undivided attention. Much love is sent to Charlie, Ella, Tom, Bill and their families, and to my dear friend and colleague of so many years, her mom, Mary. I admired Mary and her many accomplishments and the kind of human being she was and her legacy which lives on. Well done thou good and faithful servant. With admiration, Dan Nelson

  • Matt Gray

    Mary was truly an amazing person and will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the family.

  • Deb Formento

    There are no words that can adequately convey the heartbreak and sadness I feel at Mary's passing. Mary gave new meaning to the word classy and will he sorely missed. She was one of the best health care providers I have ever had. Fly with the eagles Mary. My deepest condolences to her family.

  • Deb Formento

    There are no words that can adequately express the sadness and heartbreak I feel over Mary's passing. Her intellect and humor will be sorely missed. Fly with the eagles Mary. You made this world a better place.

  • Johanna Leuchter

    My condolences to Mary’s family, friends, and associates. Mary was a great addition to our Education for Ministry (EfM) group at St. Mathew’s Cathedral. She graduated in 2021. Our 2020-2021 year started out via zoom, we met in person a couple of times and had a nice celebratory dinner at the end. It was an odd year for a number of reasons and Mary was there to finish! May Mary rejoice in the fellowship of the saints, and may God console those who mourn.

  • Mariah Ehmke

    We miss Mary and wish we could be there today to celebrate her life with her family and community. May the holy spirit surround you all in love and peace.

  • David and Maureen Lutterman

    Working with Dr. Burman for five years and friends up on Boulder Ridge for many more, our time with Mary showed her powerful support and friendship. Sincere condolences to her family and everyone whose lives she touched.

  • Robin Coulthard

    Although I lost contact with Mary over the years she when I thought of her I always smiled! Lots of hugs!

  • Candice Corrigan +

    Mary, thank you — “May you Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!” Ella and Charlie, sorry, a stunning loss! Like many of her wide wide circle of family, friends, colleagues, and students, I’m sure, thinking about Mary makes me smile — surely, she packed more of everything into her too short life. We remember her, a woman for all seasons!

  • Susan Bakewell-Sachs

    I am very saddened about Mary’s passing and Charlie, I am so sorry. It was my great fortune to be with Mary in the 2007 Robert Wros Johnson Executive Fellows cohort. Her brilliance, pragmatism, passion, and sense of humor were always appreciated. Mary was a leader and started a rural deans group which offered support to many of us with frontier students and programs. Mary was Wyoming. I and many others will miss her deeply as her legacy lives on.

  • David Arnold

    Charlie, I am so sorry for your loss. Mary sounds like she was an incredible person. Our thoughts are with you.

  • Annie Kersting

    I met Mary at U. Michigan where she was the UM Geology Field Camp nurse for the two summers out near Jackson Hole. I was a teaching assistant and we became fast friends. Boy we had fun!!! Mary's wisdom, sensibilities, humor, and love will be sorely missed. Mary, may you rest in peace. Missing you dearly. My condolences to Charlie and Ella and the Burman family.

  • Anonymous

    Mary was one of my favorite nursing professors at UW. I graduated in 1995 and I have seen Mary at nursing functions on and off throughout the years. She always had a smile and kind words.

  • Jamie Egolf

    Mary, You will be sorely missed. Charlie and Ella, my condolences to you. Your loss is so profound. Blessings, Jamie Egolf

  • Kristy Nielson

    There are no words to express my sadness at the loss of such a wonderful person. Mary was my mentor; someone I so very much admired, respected, and wanted to emulate. Mary truly made our world a better place, and her legacy will live on for generations. I feel truly blessed to have known Mary.

  • Brian and Julie Gross

    She was an amazing, amazing woman and will be sorely missed!

  • Keela Herr

    I write as a colleague and friend of Mary through the 2007 Cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship. Through the years of our fellowship and beyond, our cohort has been close and held Mary in high esteem for her leadership in nursing, her devotion to family and friends, and her positivity and humor. She made an indelible impact on each of us and the part of her journey we shared has left us with a warmth in our hearts and we will miss her.

  • Lynda D. Coyle

    I have such lovely, vivid memories of Mary when I was at UW, in particular her laughter and infectious smile. She was such a positive force within the College of Health Sciences and in more than one role. Personally, she was instrumental in guiding me through the promotion process as a "lecturer" in a related department when she was the interim Dean. Her words of wisdom and encouragement are still being passed along to those around me today. Go in peace, Mary and know that your legacy lives on. With deep respect and admiration, Lynda D. Coyle

  • Gloria J McNeal, PhD, MSN, ACNS-BC, FAAN

    To Mary's Family, I am sending you my deepest condolences on the loss of Mary and her many gifts and accomplishments. Mary and I were members of the 2007 Cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program. She and I shared many stories and activities together. We were both seated together at an annual Gala of the American Academy of Nursing where we reflected on the future of nursing and the potential accomplishments of the honorees. She will be deeply missed, very sorrowfully, Gloria J McNeal, Associate VP Community Affairs in Health at National University, San Diego CA

  • Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

    On behalf of the entire Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, please accept our deepest sympathies. Our thoughts are with with Mary's family. We have been blessed to have her as a leader, guide, mentor, and friend.

  • Jennifer McCartney, RN, MHA, MSN

    Nursing has lost an icon but Heaven has gained a member of Wyoming royalty. I shall miss you Mary.

  • Brad Jackson

    Mary will absolutely be missed - in the short time I was able to get to know her, I learned so very much. I cannot imagine the impact she made on nursing students at UW and beyond. All my best to Mary's students, friends, and family.


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