23 years of guiding Canowindra students

Obituary: Patricia Margaret Burnheim The late Pat Burnheim.
Nanjing Night Net

A private memorial was held in Canowindra on Saturday, October 22, 2016, for Pat Burnheim, age 87, who died peacefully on October 15, 2016 after a short stay in Canowindra Soldiers Memorial Hospital.

The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

A Canowindra resident for 40 years, Pat began teaching at Canowindra Central School in 1974 which later became Canowindra High School.

There she became Subject Head of the English and History Department.

She is remembered by many students for the many excursions she organized to Sydney, Orange and Cowra for theatre, film and museum outings, and coaching the school’s debating teams.

After retirement in 1997, Pat remained an active community member, contributing for many years to the Canowindra Historical Society (including several terms as President), and helping to establish the Age of Fishes Museum.

AFGWShe was a long-serving member and office-holder of the Lachlan chapter of the Australia Federation of Graduate Women.

She also continued adjudicating debates between high schools in the region and delivered Meals on Wheels in Canowindra for more than a decade.

The oldest of five children, Pat was born in Sydney to parents Robert and Dorothy Cook onJune 12, 1929.

Patgrew up in Thornleigh during the Great Depression.

She was selected for Eastwood Opportunity Class (OC) for gifted and talented children, before attending Hornsby Girls’ High School.

Arts DegreeShe graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney in the early 1950s, a time when women in university were still scarce.

She began her teaching career at Riverside Girls High School, followed by Hunters Hill High School, then Cheltenham Girls High School, as well as a short stint at Orange High School.

She married twice – first at the age of 20 to Stanislaus Lavelle, and then at 29 to Ronald Burnheim, with whom she had two children, Peter and Sally.

She was preceded in death by her brother John and sister Ruth.

Pat isis survived by both her children, her brother Robert and sister Anne, and two grandchildren, Monika and Bede.

The family extends sincere thanks to Dr Nicholas O’Ryan and staff, the nurses and staff of Canowindra Hospital and Community Health, the caregivers of Australian Unity Home Care, specialist medical providers, and all Pat’s friends, near and far.

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