Patricia June Burleson (nee Wellington) was born on June 16, 1925 in Lafayette, Indiana. Her parents were George Gilbert, better known as "GG" Wellington and Gertrude Wellington, who were already the proud parents of three boys. Patricia was the youngest of the four children and was admittedly spoiled by her older brothers. She loved all her brothers but was closest throughout her life with her next youngest brother Richard "Dick" Wellington. Their relationship would continue the rest of their lives until Dick's untimely passing. Patricia grew up in Lafayette, Indiana where her father worked at Purdue University. Her mother was her role model as a mother and parent, caring for her children and husband. Patricia was a child of the Great Depression and often told stories about her mother "never turning away anyone who came to our house asking for food". "Times were hard" she'd often say, but her parents and family persevered. In the late 1930's, a young man from Indianapolis decided to attend the great university known for engineering. Purdue University, where "GG" Wellington worked and became fast friends with a young Robert Burleson, an aspiring engineer. In due time, GG asked Robert "Bob" to visit his home where Robert met Patricia. They dated for a short time before the beginning of World War II. Robert enlisted in World War II and became a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Patricia and Robert maintained contact by writing each other throughout the four years of the war. Patricia worked during the war as a PBX operator (or telephone operator) during this time, something at which she became very proficient and later said that she enjoyed very much.
After the war, the couple continued their relationship that had been interrupted by "The Great War" and were married on August 28, 1945. Her husband graduated from Purdue University in June 1946 and they were very much ready to start their long lives together. After their wedding, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah to work in a business that Patricia's brothers started and Robert was the engineer of the business. It was on August 16, 1948 that their first son, Dave (David Lee) was born. Robert worked at the business while Patricia raised their newborn son. They stayed in Utah until 1950 when they moved back to Indianapolis where their second born, a daughter, Shirley (Shirley Ann) was born on November 7, 1951. Robert continued to work as an engineer while Patricia was a traditional mother, caring for her family and husband. They were a very traditional family for the time and Patricia happily worked at her job of mother and homemaker. She and her husband kept their roles of father as provider for the family financially and after work and Patricia was the caretaker of everything involved with the home. In 1954 Patricia became pregnant with a third child, but unfortunately had a miscarriage. It was a very difficult time for Patricia, but she persevered with her life.
Her husband started working for a company where he would work for many years and Patricia and Robert moved to Morrow, Ohio. On July 23, 1957 their third born child, Richard (Richard Donald) was born. With three children, Patricia and Robert felt that their family was complete and they became the parents that every child would want. They spent time in their children's activities and Patricia was always there for anything her children needed. When they needed reassurance, she provided it. When they needed guidance, she was there. When they needed help with anything in their lives, Patricia was always there to help in any way she could. Patricia sacrificed so her family could have things and she went without. Many times Patricia would make one of her fantastic dinners and would make sure her husband children were fed first, and then she would eat. It didn't go unnoticed that she would have less food than others on occasion and she would say that she wasn't hungry, but she had taken less for herself so others could have more. Patricia's children could come home from playing outside and she would patch up any wound, cut or abrasion along with the occasional broken bone would be taken care of. When they were sick, she cared for them and nurtured them back to health. Patrica had two rules for staying home from school: 1) a temperature or 2) actively vomiting. Absent either of those two conditions, the children were expected to go school.
It was well known that Patricia loved her children. From her first born grandchild, Adam Burleson, through all of her eight grandchildren, Rikki and Kelly Burleson, Robert, Tricia, Craig, and Dana Mackey, and Michael Burleson, she cared for and helped raised almost all of them. At the very least, she loved them all. Patricia always wanted what was best for her children, and it was the same for her grandchildren. She was always there whether physically or emotionally for all her grandchildren. "They are my life" she would often say, displaying her care for children no matter how old she got. She always asked her children how her grandchildren were doing. As Patricia and her husband were in their 70's, they moved to Orlando where two of their children were living and her husband's brother was living at the time. They lived with their daughter Shirley when her husband Robert passed on October 3, 2001. He is buried here in the Florida National Cemetery where Patricia joined him on March 16th, 2012. There isn't enough that can be said about Patricia as a mother and grandmother. She lived her life with her husband for her children and grandchildren. She was loved by friends she made over the years.