June 24, 1927 — Jan. 11, 2013
The funeral service will be conducted on Saturday, Jan. 26 for Willene Burns of Newman, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, who entered into eternal rest peacefully at the home of her daughter, Patricia Silveira, with family by her side.
Mrs. Burns, 85, was born in Turkey Creek, S.C. and was the fifth of seven children born to Forrest and Clara Newsome. She graduated from Hartsville High School in 1944. After graduation, while visiting her sister in Maine, she met and married Galen Burns. They lived in Maine for several years and settled in Newman in 1953.
Mrs. Burns worked at D&E Electric & Appliance Store in Newman as a bookkeeper for 20 years. As an active member of the Orestimba Presbyterian Church she enjoyed various church activities including bible study, Sunday school, and fundraising. She was a member of Rebekahs Lodge, a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, assistant director for the Girl Scout Camps, a PTA member, and a “Room Mother” for three generations. She also worked with a community group who went door-to-door speaking to residents of Newman, Gustine, Santa Nella, and Stevenson about the importance of passing a supplemental tax to fund an ambulance service for the West Side.
Mrs. Burns’ greatest loves were spending time with her family and friends and one would often find her sitting out front talking with neighbors or on her daily trek around town. Mrs. Burns loved bowling and bowled in several leagues at Gustine Bowl and Divine Gardens in Turlock. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, playing cards, dancing, and music. One of her favorite passions was gardening, which was noted by the immaculate yard, which she referred to as her “Heaven on Earth.”
She loved to travel to South Carolina, Alabama and spent many of her summers in Maine. In the early years they would drive and took various routes enjoying the beauty of the United States.
Mrs. Burns is survived by daughter Patricia Silveira, and husband, John, of Patterson; her grandchildren, Kathryn (Mark) Hamilton of Fremont, Jennifer (Abel) Sanchez of Patterson, David (Kelsi) Silveira of Modesto, and Cindy (Randy) Wheeler of Modesto; four great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren, and sister, Jackie Deyerle of Wetumpka, Ala.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Galen Burns, parents Forrest and Clara Newsome and her siblings, Edna Blackwell, Margaret Fuchs, Kathy Wilson, Basil Newsome, and Harold Newsome.
Services will be conducted at the Orestimba Presbyterian Church, 1107 Kern St, in Newman at 11 a.m. on Saturday Jan. 26. A gathering to celebrate the life of Willene will follow at the church hall. Interment will be held at San Joaquin National Cemetery in Gustine/Santa Nella at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29.
The family requests that instead of flowers to send donations in Mrs. Burns’ memory to Orestimba Presbyterian Church, 1107 Kern St, Newman, CA 95360; or Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356-9259; or Alzheimer’s Aid Society of Northern California, 700 McHenry Ave, Suite B, Modesto, CA 95350; or the Newman Fire Department, PO Box 787, Newman, CA 95360.
Mrs. Burns’ family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers and staff at Pacifica Senior Living Center and Community Hospice who went above and beyond in providing quality care in such a loving manner.