Virgina Burtness, a lifelong resident of northern Wisconsin, died Dec. 15, 2005, in Washburn at age 80 after a long illness. Trained as a photographer, she began her journalism career as a photographer and women’s editor at the Duluth News Tribune. In 1959, she moved to Bayfield and later began a 20-year career with the Daily Press, retiring in 1990.
During her time at the Daily Press, Burtness’ zest for the job and her canny news sense made a deep impression on the people she worked with and the public she dealt with on a day-to-day basis. It has been said Burtness went to great lengths to be thorough and balanced in her reporting and editing, and her dedication showed in her work. When news broke, Burtness was there.
She was a respected journalist at a time when women in the field were a rarity. She was part of a generation of women who broke ground in the journalism industry, paving the way for women to be more accepted in the profession.
She is also remembered for her caring personality, and her involvement in civic, religious and professional organizations.