Skip to content

Virginia Roberson Collins Burbank Passes Away



Virginia Roberson Collins Burbank, 79, of Glenview, Ky., passed Monday, June 28, 2010. Burbank was a loving spouse, mother, grandmother and successful attorney practicing family, tax and business law with Burbank & Collins, a law firm she founded.

She was born Feb. 22, 1931 in May's Lick, Mason County, Ky. Her parents, William Herman Roberson and Mable Ester Davis, and her brothers, William "Bill" Herman Roberson Jr., and Davis Yancy Roberson, predeceased her.

She is survived by her husband, William Fitch Burbank Jr.; her children, Wynter Reneaux Collins, Priscilla Burbank-Schewel, Jane Elliott Burbank and William F. Burbank III; and her grandchildren, Winter Robertson Clarke Collins, Taylor-Davis Collins, Laura B. Schewel, Benjamin B. Schewel and Emily P. Burbank.

Burbank was the only woman to graduate in the class of 1954 from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She initially worked for the Kentucky Department of Revenue, gaining experience in tax law since law firms were then uninterested in hiring a female attorney. She then entered private practice becoming the first woman to regularly litigate cases in Louisville.

Her achievements for the rights of women are many. She was the first woman to testify before the Kentucky General Assembly in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. She became an expert on the status of women in the law and spoke with conviction. She founded and headed the Kentucky Pro ERA Alliance and was the keynote speaker for their 20th anniversary celebration.

The Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers awarded her their first ever Lifetime Achievement Award in April 2010. She was listed in The Best Lawyers in America from 1983 until she retired. She sat as a special judge on the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In 2009, she received the League of Women Voter's Historical Honoree Award for her outstanding historical legacy in law practice and for serving as one of their founding members in 1960. In 2005, she received the Pioneer for Equal Rights in Kentucky award in recognition of her pursuit of the equality of rights for women throughout the Commonwealth.

The House of Representatives honored her with a Citation in 2005 for her special contributions throughout her career to secure equal rights for woman in Kentucky. She was recognized by Who's Who of American Women, received the Outstanding Woman Award from the League of Women Voters, and the City of Louisville's Fleur de Lis Award.

Burbank also enjoyed tremendous business success. She and her husband created the first out-patient surgery facility in Louisville, the Louisville Surgery Center, employing 35 people when sold in 1987. She was one of the owners and founders of the First Trust Centre and received the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Business Owner of the Year Award in 1995.

She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Filson Club, the Louisville Boat Club and Highland Presbyterian Church. She was a mentor to countless young attorneys and supported female law students at the University of Kentucky College of Law through scholarships.

As she gradually withdrew from the law practice, her active mind continued its work with the Kentucky Women Project which she founded and funded to research and document the social, financial and legal development of Kentucky women from 1960 to 2005. She was in the process of preserving the Kentucky Women's Movement through oral histories.

Burbank was an owner and supporter of American Saddlebred horses and saw her current five-gaited star, The Lady Sings The Blues, win at Lawrenceburg Horse Show last week with Helen Robertson in the saddle.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Kentucky Educational Television (KET) and The Louisville Orchestra.

More Stories

  • Dayton Horse Show Update

    After speculation that 2017 would be the final Dayton Horse Show, officials have announced that there would indeed be a 2018 show. Held at the historic Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Dayton, Ohio for many years, the does have to change locations for its 151st edition due to the Fairgrounds being sold. Read More
  • Obituary - Dr. Ronald A. Hendricks

    Dr. Ronald A. Hendricks, age 66 of Lenoir City, formerly of Clinton, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from complications following a stroke in November. Ronnie had degrees in engineering and dentistry. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Memphis, Memphis State and Cleveland State Community College... Read More
  • Did You Know?

    Our interactive website offers a variety of useful and unique tools for our readers. We aim to help our readers learn to navigate our new website, as well as gain a firm understanding of all the comprehensive features that it offers. Check in weekly with our Did You Know news series, as we show you the ins and outs of www.saddlehorsereport.com. Read More
  • ASHA Announces Partnership with US Equestrian in the new USEF Competition Lite Program

    ASHA is pleased to announce the partnership between United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian) and ASHA to offer the new USEF Competition Lite category... Read More
  • Schedule Set For 33rd Annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Auction

    The 33rd annual Wisconsin Limited Breeders Stallion Service Auction will be held Sunday, January 7, 2018 at the Thunder Bay Restaurant in Milwaukee Wisc. The event begins at 11:00 AM with a buffet brunch followed by the annual meeting at 12:30 PM. The live stallion service auction will begin at 1:00 PM, featuring the nation's top producing stallions... Read More
  • Beamer Helps Rescue Horses from Lilac Fire

    Barbara Beamer joined scores of neighbors, friends, volunteers and community members to help transport and shelter horses and pets displaced in the Lilac Fire which decimated the San Luis Rey Training Center and is still burning in San Diego County. Read More
  • Latest Issue Dec 11 17

    Read More
  • Morgan Weanling Gala 2018

    Plans are underway for the 10th edition of the Morgan Weanling Gala to be held in 2018. In the years since the Morgan Weanling Gala (MWG) was launched, it has become a much-anticipated event each year. The program individually promotes each of the Nominated Stallions on both the MWG Facebook Page and website... Read More
  • Selection Trials at William Woods University

    After impressive showings at the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, 12 riders were chosen to represent the United States at the 2018 Saddle Seat World Cup. Thirty-two aspiring athletes from 18 states tried out at William Woods University on Saturday... Read More
  • American Saddlebreds to Light Up Kannapolis Parade of Lights This Weekend

    The Carolinas American Saddlebred parade unit will be leading this year’s Kannapolis Parade of Lights Grand Marshal, Mrs. Martha Earnhardt during the event on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 6 PM at the intersection of Main St. and Dale Earnhardt Blvd in Kannapolis, NC. Read More