August 28, 1938 ~ November 14, 2020 (age 82)


Cathryne A. Burrell, 82, passed away Nov. 14, 2020 in her home in Libby, surrounded by her loving family.

Cathryne was born Aug. 28, 1938, in Lake Andes, SD, to Ralph and Kate Brooks. She graduated from Lake Andes High School in 1957, and went on to Southern State Teachers College in Springfield, S.D., graduating in 1959 with a teaching certificate.  Cathryne married Harold Burrell in Lake Andes, S.D., in 1959. They divorced in 1986.

Cathryne’s teaching career took her to Helena and then on to Paradise. She continued to substitute teach in the communities she lived in: Shelby and Libby. She also was a private tutor for students in Libby. She always kept a place in her heart for those children.

While living in Libby, she served as an AFS mother to many students from overseas. The first student, Chanh Tran, eventually became her adopted son after his native South Vietnam fell to North Vietnam in 1975. Years later, she was host mom to another student from Turkey and a schoolteacher from China. 

Cathryne was giving of herself to her family and anyone she considered in need. She was always there to help others, by care giving or volunteering for many organizations in Libby. Her volunteer work with Koats For Kids and the Libby Community Thrift Shop were very near and dear to her heart.

Cathryne’s riches on earth were her family, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She instilled in their hearts love of family, music and her Lord, Jesus Christ. Her three beautiful granddaughters and four great-grandchildren were the light of her life. She has left a hole in our hearts and will be greatly missed by all. Working hard and helping others is the legacy she has left for us all.

Cathryne was preceded in death by her parents, six siblings, and her son, Chanh Tran.

She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Resch (Paul) of Libby; son, Jason Burrell of Libby; granddaughters, Kallie Kujawa (Tom) of Bozeman; Samantha Hannah (Kyle) of Libby; Taylor Resch of Salem, Ore.; four great-grandchildren, Hudson and Finley Kate Hannah and Colin and Jedd Kujawa.

There will be a private family graveside service at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, at the City of Libby Cemetery, owing to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Memorials may be made to the Libby Volunteer Fire Department or Libby Community Thrift Shop.

Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at


To send flowers to CATHRYNE's family, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
November 20, 2020

2:00 PM


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