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County remembers longtime plat clerk


Annie Wooden

DEDICATION - Bob Burns (right) gathered with family and friends including his children Tim and Theresa, as the Sanders County Clerk and Recorder's Office dedicated the plat room in memory of his late wife Lynne.

If you have bought or sold property in Sanders County, you have a little piece of Lynne Burns with you. Burns was the plat clerk in the Sanders County Clerk and Recorder's Office for almost 22 years. She retired in 2013, and passed away in November of last year after a battle with an incurable nerve disorder.

Burns's presence can still be felt when you walk into the plat room at the Sanders County Courthouse. The books of plat maps are organized and maintained just as Burns kept them. Tracy Vanicek, who now manages plat maps and the plat room for the county, said she hasn't changed much from what Burns taught her before she retired.

"We still do things exactly the same way," Vanicek said, "and other counties are nowhere near as organized. Lynne took pride in what she did. She was very patient and a wonderful teacher."

As the plat clerk, Burns was in charge of entering changes in ownership on the large plat maps. Her handwriting is prevalant throughout the plat books, from the names in all caps, to the neatly printed township, range and section numbers. Vanicek now enters the information in the books in her own script font. But while the writing style has changed, Vanicek said she hasn't changed much else as plat clerk.

Burns's family and friends, including her husband Bob and children Tim and Theresa, gathered in the plat room with staff from the Clerk and Recorder's Office to share memories. They also dedicated the plat room to Burns. A plaque now hangs on the door to the plat room.

Lynne Burns

"She would have hated all this attention," said Darbie Burns, Lynne's daughter-in-law. However, the family was appreciative of the recognition.

"Everyone had nothing but awesome things to say about Lynne," said Clerk and Recorder Nichol Scribner. "Her spirit will forever live in our plat room."

Staff from the Clerk and Recorder's office reminisced about Burns's dedication to keeping detailed records as the plat clerk, and also her peanut butter cookies. Bob Burns, Lynne's husband, said she even taught him how to make them.

The Burns family said that Lynne loved her job. The family spread her ashes on the Clark Fork River over the weekend, so they were thankful they could all be at the courthouse for the plat room dedication.


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