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Joan Eleanor Wyland-Burns


Joan, age 88, passed away peacefully Friday, April 7th, 2023, in Sun City West, Arizona.
She was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on February 24th, 1935, and was one of the four children of Harry and Ethel Beckstrom.
As a young woman, she was very close to and spent time with her Aunt Elvira and her husband, Warren Burger, who was Chief Justice of the United States. She graduated from Johnson High School in 1953.
After earning her Bachelor of Nursing from Bethesda School of Nursing at Gustavus Adolphus College in 1956, Joan worked as a registered nurse mainly caring for patients as a surgical nurse in the operating room. She was a skilled and dedicated coworker and teacher to those she worked with at Bethesda Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN. She worked for 40 years before retiring.
Joan married twice in her life, first to the late Raymond Wyland in 1958 and again to Frank Burns in 2002.
Joan is survived by her husband, Frank Burns; her two sons, Lee (Vickie) Wyland from Andover, MN, and Todd (Angela) Wyland from Charlotte, NC; and her three step-children: Steven Burns (children Nicolae and Alex) from Tucson, AZ, Lisa (Bill) Johnson (children Delaney and Ella) from Vicksburg, MI, and Lori Burns from Gwinn, MI. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Emily (Austin) Drake, Alexandra, Joshua, Peter, Natalie, Madison, and Samuel Wyland, and Kelsie Kroll. She is preceded in death by her parents and three siblings, Don Beckstrom, Warren Beckstrom, and June Johnson.
Joan enjoyed life to its fullest and had an adventurous spirit that did not dim with age. She learned to fly airplanes with her family, earning her private pilot’s license in 1974, and quickly joined the International 99’s, an organization of women pilots. Joan used this knowledge to benefit her community near and far as she volunteered as a Bloodmobile pilot for the Red Cross and as an Oshkosh Flyby Briefer. She loved to ski and combined this expertise with her passion for medicine in her work as a ski patroller. Joan traveled often on trips around the world from Amsterdam to Hawaii to Mexico, but her most memorable trip was three surgical missions to Guatemala where she helped fix cleft palates of patients in need. She lived a vibrant life filled with rich experiences - she even skydived once! - but she always prioritized the needs of others, and her long life of volunteerism speaks for itself.
An award winning artist who loved to paint and draw in many mediums, Joan’s creativity could sometimes take on a life of its own in crafts and projects around the house. She had a beautiful singing voice and enjoyed making music as part of the church choir. Joan shared a love of golf with her husband and the new community they found in Sun City West. A good beach with a warm ocean was one of her favorite places to be.
Joan was a great friend to many, and everyone has a great Joanie story to tell. She was smart, funny, clever, classy, and the best mom, sister, aunt, nana, mother-in-law and friend she could be. She was all this and so much more. Her firecracker spirit and contagious laugh will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
A celebration of life will be held at Desert Palms Presbyterian Church 13459 W. Stardust Blvd Sun City West, Arizona 85375 on Friday, April 14, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. Please join Joan’s family in sharing memories, pictures or videos on her tribute wall at