September 11, 1964 – May 24, 2019
Beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, Alison Jones Burner died peacefully at her childhood home in California following a courageous seven-month battle with a malignant brain tumor.
Typical of her selflessness, Ali chose an experimental immunotherapy regimen, rather than traditional treatment, in the hope that a way could be found to successfully combat this dread disease and save others.
Alison was born and raised in Pacific Palisades, attended Palisades Elementary School and graduated from Marlborough School (1982) and Wellesley College (1986) with a major in political science.
During college years, she interned for Congressman Anthony Beilenson in Washington, D.C., and for the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers. After Wellesley she worked in the education department of the Morgan Library in New York and found her calling.
She then obtained a M.Ed. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1990. There she met her future husband of 28 years, Chris Burner.
They moved to Hudson, Ohio, where Chris accepted a position at Western Reserve Academy and Alison worked at educational nonprofits, first at agencies that help under-privileged students attend college and then as a program officer at the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. They had planned a move this summer when Chris retired as Head of School at Western Reserve and accepted a new position as Head of Nichols School in Buffalo, New York.
A devoted, thoughtful and caring mother, Alison raised two exceptional children. Matthew is completing a master’s degree in Chinese history at Columbia University and will enter law school at the University of Pennsylvania in August. Abigail will start her sophomore year at Gettysburg College in the fall. Both children relied on their mother for advice, guidance and support, but she also had a wicked, irreverent sense of humor that brightened their lives.
Besides her husband and children, Alison is survived by her parents, Judy and Steaven Jones of Pacific Palisades, her loving sister and best friend, Lawry Meister, also of Pacific Palisades, and a number of nieces and nephews. All are devastated by her loss.
Memorial services for Alison will be held on Friday, June 14, at 11 a.m. at Christ Church in Hudson, Ohio, and on Saturday, June 22, at 3 p.m. at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades.
In recognition of Ali’s love of Wellesley and commitment to students in need, gifts in her memory should be directed to the Alison Jones Burner ’86 Scholarship Fund at Wellesley College, Development Office, 106 Central St., Wellesley MA 02481 or wellesley.edu/give.
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