Melinda Dee Burbank, of Trujillo, Honduras, passed away Tuesday, October 1, 2013. She was born of Warren Skip Burbank and Mary deVilliers July 22, 1954.
She leaves behind her husband John Rathbone, her beloved children Clayton Burbank Balzer, Bryan Burbank Balzer and Laura Burbank Balzer, and her stepdaughter Alexandra Harris Rathbone. She is survived by her two sisters, Leslie Burbank and Clotine Minick.
The family is especially grateful to her cousins, Cathy Burbank Gunderman and Jeanne Van Order.
Melinda is a graduate of Occidental College. She did post-graduate at Cal State University of Los Angles. She started her teaching career at Polytechnic in Pasadena. Melinda and David Balzer married in 1981. They moved to CT where she taught hard sciences for the next 30 years at Westover School. She loved her time there. She was thought of as a very hard and fair teacher, a defender of the down trodden, a helping hand for those in need, and a huge swat on the butt for those who were not striving to meet their potential. She was sometimes lovingly known as the “Earth Mother.”
After her retirement and marriage to John C. Rathbone, they built their dream house in Honduras. There she continued to add to the community as well as save time to be with John and her very spoiled dog Oso, who loved to go paddle boarding with her.
Many thanks to the staff at Aurora Bay Care Medical Center, Kristin White who set up a wonderful Facebook page “ Make Melinda Smile”, and to the many former students, faculty, and friends who supported her in this difficult time. A celebration of her life will be held at Westover School at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be made to Westover School Middlebury CT to be used by the Science Dept.
Obituary courtesy of Westgor Funeral Homes.