Ann “Boots” Bielecki Burchett

Ann “Boots” Bielecki Burchett 5/26/1927-1/31/2023 Born over the Town Bakery in Leavenworth, KS to parents Anton and Philomena “Minnie” (Szczygiel) Bielecki on May 26, 1927, Ann was the third of six children in the family. She had fond memories of waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, and going downstairs to the bakery so her daddy could help her button up her jammies and getting a warm slice of bread with butter fresh out of the oven. As a small girl, she earned the nickname “Boots”. Family, friends and even her teachers at school called her Boots, and she knew how she knew people by what they called her.

She found her lifelong career fresh out of high school, when she was recruited to work at the VA Hospital in Leavenworth during the height of WWII. Ann decided she wanted to learn how to play bridge. Through the classes, she met Lawrence “Ray” Burchett II, they got married and started the adventure that life became. Ray was an inventor and a private pilot, and he took her on trips all over the world. They were married 55 years at the time of his passing in 2005.

Ann’s 5 children were the joy of her life, even though she claimed to have raised them with “scientific neglect”. She loved to take them on escapades, never telling them where they were going until they got there. She later admitted she did that so if she couldn’t find the place, the children would not be disappointed. Her children learned a few key phrases which they all used throughout their childhoods. These included “My mom can drive” and “My mom will bake.” She was room mother to almost all of her children at school, and became a den mother for the Boy Scouts even though she didn’t have a child in that group. She loved all children, even adopting St. John’s orphanage in Kansas City, Kansas, taking birthday cakes to all the children and having them over to her house to swim in the indoor swimming pool once a year.

She was a very involved grandmother and great grandmother, attending countless baseball, football and basketball games, school plays, dance recitals, and one of her personal favorites, “Grandparents Day” at their schools. The annual Fruitcake Baking Extravaganza, based on a recipe from her great aunt, was enjoyed by 4 generations of her family every year during the holidays. The results were always delicious! Along with her fruit cake, her “Left-Right” game every Christmas became a treasured family tradition.

She stayed home with her children until the youngest went to school, and then she returned to the field she loved – Medicine. She went back to work for the Slentz brothers, doctors she had worked with at the VA Hospital, and worked for them until they retired. She went on to work for various doctors’ offices and even KU Medical center. Once she “retired”, she volunteered work for Saint Luke’s South in the family waiting room. She had over 5,500 volunteer hours there. She stayed there until Covid-19 shut down her job. Yes, she worked until she was 92 years old. Her photo is STILL on the desk in that room.

She was passionate about democracy, and spent many years working for the Johnson County Election Office, becoming a supervising judge at her assigned voting location, getting up before dawn on election day and working well into the night.

She started attending Johnson County Community College in her 80’s, taking only one class – Lifetime Fitness. She took great pride in letting her children know that she was on the Dean’s list every single term. Always a social butterfly who brought people together, she organized twice-a-month brunches for all the folks who worked out at the same time she did. She was a friend and mentor to many, and counted people decades younger than her among her close friends. She would tell you she had to do that – all the people her age were dead!

Ann was predeceased by her beloved husband Ray, her eldest son Lawrence Ray “Larry” Burchett III and his wife Cheryl Boone Burchett, her grandsons Derek Burchett and Ryan Edwall, granddaughter Liz Mitchell Busby, and great granddaughter Brystol Harper, sisters Helen Sachs, Clara Bogner and brother Tony Bielecki. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her children Cathy Burchett, Mark (Mari Ann) Burchett, Tracy Orpin (John Fetters) and Scott (Tammy) Burchett, grandchildren Lawrence Ray Burchett IV, Allie (Ben) Clark, Nick (Dana) Burchett, Drew (Melissa) Burchett, Carlye (Nick) Burchett-Grever, Stacy (Jim) Miskanin, Stephanie Edwall, Krystal (Brad) Harper, Emily Burchett (Tyler Bruender), Ray Mitchell (Dr. Pooneh Bagher) and 12 great grandchildren with one on the way, sisters Elizabeth “Suzy” Hughes and Barbara Jean (Ralph) Richardson, numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, and countless friends. The family wishes to thank the staff at both Advanced Hospice (Molly and Tina) and Jemi Grace (Beth and Judy) for the excellent care they gave Ann.

Visitation will be on Friday, February 10th at 10:00 am at Cure of Ars Catholic Church 9401 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS 66206 with Mass at 11:00 am and lunch immediately following at the church. The link to the Youtube Livestream of services for Ann Burchett can be found at on the day of the funeral.


  1. Tim Richardson "The Hammer" (your nephew -- in loving memory) on February 8, 2023 at 12:14 am

    My name is Tim Richardson. Friends call me “Hammer”. I’m her nephew, and we were close. She was my mother’s best friend (her sister) and my entire family is indebted to her, for her love and her contribution to our existence. In fact, the thing I never forgot about her, was how she really laid out for us. Shoot, my mom and dad don’t even meet, if she and Uncle Ray don’t put em together. And we never come to Shawnee, something they also had a major hand in, and of course, growing up on the 50 yard line of Mirocke Field at St. Joe, affected me in particular, profoundly.

    But she was a lot more than just a matchmaker or a real estate advisor, to us. Growing up, we really didn’t have a lot. And 3-4 times each Summer, she’d take myself, and my brothers, and my sister (Angela — Cindy wasn’t born yet) fishing at Antioch Park, or to the movies at Ranchmart Theatre — or over to their house to swim. I didn’t even like to fish. But let me tell ya something, I learned. Cuz she made those outings fun!

    First of all, she’d stop by the Wonder Bread Store (having grown up in a bakery, she knew what a quality loaf of bread looked like for a good price). And she’d get some peanut butter and jelly, some chips and those awesome Hostess Fruit Pies they sold for a dime back then! and before you knew it, we were on a picnic, and a good one. I never forgot those things. And I remembered them in how I treated other people. I remembered them when she’d call me, if she needed something done, and nobody happened to be available. And I remembered them the last time I saw her, just a few days before she died, in Leawood.

    See, I turned 9 in 1975, and I spent the night at the house on 10330 Manor Road (an extraordinary home) and because it was my birthday, Mark’s girlfriend at the time, took Scott and I to McDonald’s on 95th and Mission Road. And right before we left she said to her, “It’s his birthday. Take him to McDonald’s, and get him anything he wants.” Ironically, after the last time I saw her, that’s exactly where I went. And in her honor, I ordered the same thing. Double Quarter Pounder with cheese, fries, and a Sprite. She was very kind to me — to all of us. And I never forgot it.

    She was the ‘ray’ of hope that made ya feel, that somehow, everything was gonna be OK. She also made one heck of a lasagne.

    We miss you so much already, Auntie B. Thank you for everything you did for us. Thank you for being my mom’s best friend. And thank you so much for believing in me. You never know how you’re gonna affect the life of another person. But I promise you, your impact was everlasting.


    Tim Richardson “The Hammer” (your nephew — in loving memory)

  2. Melanie R Houston on February 9, 2023 at 9:17 am

    My sincere condolences to the family of Tracy Orpin. May the peace and strength of God be with you during this time of grieving. If you need me, I’m just across the side walk.

  3. Trevellya T. on February 9, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    My heart goes out to Tracy Orphin’s family at this difficult time. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow.

  4. Jill Epsten on March 18, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    I met Ann when I worked at Saint Lukas’s South Hospital. In the surgery waiting room. I started in 2014-2018. Ann and I became good friends. She helped me get used to what my role was. And took her time making sure I was okay. I was so impressed she was in her late 80’s . We got closer throughout the years. We would meet for lunch a couple of times. We would have so much fun talking. She and I really agreed about certain issues. She made sure I knew. She would tell me stories about the bakery her parents had. I loved hearing her talk. We had so much fun. I was checking up on her while she was in hospice care. My mom and grandparents had hospice care. I really think it makes you feel more comfortable. I could tell she was getting more tired. I didn’t want to disturb her so I waited a couple of weeks too call her. I found out she died on 1-31-23. I was sad I didn’t get to say goodbye. I’m glad she’s at peace now with her husband. I will always remember my good friend Ann. I will miss her but I’ll cheraish our talks!

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