Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lena Mae Burdick Chilson

Belmont, NY -  Lena Mae Burdick Chilson, age 84, of State Route 244 passed away on Thursday, September 26, at the Wellsville Manor Care Center. She was born on August 2, 1929 in Belmont on what was known as the Crabtree Farm to Everitts and Gladys Brisbee Burdick. On August 9, 1947 in Belmont she married Ernest Harvey Chilson who predeceased her in 1981.

Lena Graduated from Belmont Central School, class of 1947. She was well known in the 1970's as the Avon Lady in Belmont and she also worked at the Wellsville Manor in the laundry when it first opened. Lena helped fight the good fight when Allegany County was threatened with a nuclear dump site. Her family members still remember her famous white "radiation suit". She was a member of the Church of Christ in Scio and in her earlier years Lena entered numerous poem and jingle writing contests and won an amazing number of them.

Survivors include her six children, David (Meredith) Chilson, Marlene (Gary) Wightman, Rick (Deb) Chilson, Diane Groves, Carolyn (Dennis) Solo and Brian (Renee') Chilson; 13 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and one great- great grandchild; her sister, Phyllis Wray as well as several nieces and nephews.

Lena was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister Helen Kemp and a brother Carl Burdick.

Friends are invited to call on Sunday, September 29, from 2-4 and 7-9 at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Belmont. Lena's funeral will be held on Monday at 1 pm in the funeral home with Rev. Glen Layfield presiding. Burial will take place in Forest Hills Cemetery and memorials in her name may be given to the charity of the donor's choice. To leave online condolences please visit


  1. Grandma Chilson, I love you beyond measure. I miss you still, and I always will. You are the strongest and wisest woman I have ever, or probably will ever know. You were able to be so many things to so many of us, without hesitation. You were my loving fun creative Grandmother, who taught me how much better off we were creating games from nothing but the love and fondness of family, than all of my peers who had everything except our family;) Until you taught us to share that as well. You were a mother when I needed, anytime mine couldn't be there. You were a role model and offered more wisdom than I could hope to gain in my lifetime. And not least, you were my friend when I needed one. Able to "see me", without ever coming from a place of judgement. When I'd worry I had let you down, I was always greeted with that warm smile I've been so accustomed to. I have always considered myself lucky to know you, let alone proud to be your grandson. You live on always and forever in my heart, in the hearts of your sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and the hearts of everyone else who's lives you touched in such an incredibly substantial way. You've left your mark on our soul, and you are the only person I can say I've known, who... Without question, has changed the world. You made it so much better. By teaching others, like myself, how to genuinely love and care about people, even (or perhaps especially) complete strangers. For every person I helped change a tire, or given a jump. For every poor fool walking in the cold who I've offered a jacket, or a ride to somewhere warm. The man from outta town I met awhile back, who was stranded, broke, and huddled in the laundry mat for a warm dry place to ride out the night. As he thanked me for the kind conversation, the soda, and the dinner I bought him... And in fact when all of them thanked me, those thanks all belonged to you. Thank you grandma. From them, from me, from Kylie. Until we meet again, give Grampa a big tight hug from me, tell him how much fun we had together, how much we love him, and how much we always wished he could have been there with us.

  2. Sincere condolences to the entire family. It was a pleasure to get to meet you, and Lena's sharing of family knowledge with our Mom is something she will cherish forever. From our entire family, please know our hearts are with you. Norm and Eloise Chilson Strong and family