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Vanessa Lauren Burton, 52, Columbia

Vanessa Laureen Burton, of Columbia, passed away from this life on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at Russell County Hospital.  She was 52 years of age.

Born April 18, 1971, in Columbia, she was a daughter of Phyllis Sullivan Abrell DeHart and the late Elder Ray “Joe” Abrell.  Vanessa was a Special Education Teacher at Salem Elementary School and a former Assistant Curriculum Coordinator at Adair County Board of Education.  She enjoyed working with youth in the Lake Cumberland Area Chrysalis Community and the Kids for Christ Program. Vanessa attended Melson Ridge Separate Baptist Community Church where she was always willing to serve the Lord.  She will be missed by her family, friends, and the many others whose lives she touched with her kindness.

Survivors include her husband, Joe David Burton, of Columbia; a son, Justin (and Kristen) Burton, of Russell Springs; a daughter, Heather (and Keith) Brown, of Russell Springs; her mother, Phyllis DeHart, of Columbia; and five grandchildren, Grady Burton, Bayley Burton, Leah Brown, Dayne Burton, and Hannah Brown.

In addition to her father, Vanessa was preceded in death by a sister, Tracey Pierce.

Funeral services are 11:00 AM Saturday, September 30, 2023, at Bernard Funeral Home with Brother Mike Helm officiating.  Burial will follow in Brockman-Kerr Cemetery.

Visitation for the public will be from 5:00 to 8:00 PM Friday, September 29, at the funeral home, and after 8:00 AM Saturday, until time of service.

Ross Morgan, Mitchell Morgan, Danny Abrell, Robert Coppage, Stacy Huff, and Donald Galito will serve as pallbearers.

The Burton family truly appreciates the outpouring of love and sympathy that has been expressed during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Vanessa’s memory be made to the Kids For Christ, 204 North Potter Street, Freeburg, IL 62243, or at

Funeral arrangements for Vanessa Burton have been entrusted to Bernard Funeral Home.  An online guestbook is available at

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