Obituary: Ardella Beatrice (Burtnett) Walls

Sept. 13, 1927 – Nov. 28, 2020

Ardella Beatrice (Burtnett) Walls, 93, of Sturgeon Bay died at Whispering Pines Assisted Living.

She was born in Oconto Falls to Ervin Albert and Catherine (Owen) Regal. Ardella graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 1945. On June 5, 1949, she married Harvey Eugene Burtnett at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Underhill, Wisconsin. After their four children were in school, Ardella resumed her college degree and graduated from Columbia County Teachers College in 1967. She continued her education at UW-Oshkosh during her summers off.

Ardella taught at Dodge County Schools for more than 10 years and was known to her students as “Mrs. Birdnest.” On Dec. 5, 1977, Harvey preceded her in death after 28 years of marriage. Ardella still taught art and was a substitute teacher after his death.

In 1983, she married Wilbur O. Walls in Crystal, Minnesota. The two retired to Avon Park, Florida. They remained there until Will died in 2006. After Will’s passing, Ardella moved to Sturgeon Bay. She was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, where she served as organist. She enjoyed her social time at the Senior Center and her frequent trips to Walmart. She was a true artist who liked to oil paint, sew clothing and play piano, but her favorite hobby, which she truly loved, was shopping.

Ardella will be missed by her children, Eugene (Paula) Burtnett of Westminster, South Carolina, Nancy Messersmith of Sturgeon Bay, Bruce (Lisa) Burtnett of Sturgeon Bay, and Frank Burtnett of Lakeland, Florida; grandchildren, Nikole (John) White, Natasha (Beau) Branson, Micky (Richard) Wilde, Jesse (Gladys) Messersmith, Jillian (Robert) Boll, Ryan (Salina) Burtnett, and Reed Burtnett; great-grandchildren, Aiden Branson, Mason and Carter Wilde, James and Alexis Hamilton,  Jordan Boll, Nolan LeCloux, and Selma and Hurley Burtnett; siblings, William (Billie Ann) Regal, Neva Regal, David (Zoey) Regal, and Austin (Sandy) Regal; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ervin and Catherine Regal; husbands, Harvey Burtnett and Wilbur Walls; son-in-law, Leroy Messersmith; brothers, Owen and Kay Regal and Ken and Sue Regal; and sister-in-law, Margaret “Peggy” Regal.

Ardella’s family wishes to extend their appreciative thanks to the staff at Whispering Pines Assisted Living and Compassus Hospice for their caring for Ardella.

A tribute page is available at



Related Organizations