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Shirley Burns


In her 90th year, Shirley Margaret Burns passed away on May 12, 2018 at Hogarth Riverview Manor following a short illness. 

Shirley lived her entire life in Thunder Bay (Fort William) except for a one year adventure in Schreiber after her marriage to Jack in 1955.

Shirley attended Central School, now Patterson Park, Vocational School and King’s Business College where she graduated as a secretary. She was employed at Revenue Canada, Succession Duties Department, under the tutorage of Marg Stitt, who became a friend and mentor.

Throughout her teenage years, Shirley’s cousins, the Sime girls, Mary, Margaret and Audrey (Buddy) were her constant companions and she was especially close with Buddy.

While living in Schreiber, Shirley became a frequent train passenger, returning to Fort William to visit family and friends. She used an expired pass many times. The conductor just looked at the pass, smiled and handed it back to her. “Enjoy the ride, we’re running on time, 9:40 in Fort William!” Shirley and Jack met some very fine and gracious people in Schreiber.

Back in Fort William, she was a private secretary to one of the directors of Chapples Department Store. Do you want 1 or 2 sugar cubes in your coffee? That wasn’t Shirley’s cup of coffee or tea. Shirley also worked in construction and learned that a crib is not necessarily where a baby is kept.

She finally found her niche at the Catholic School Board as a school secretary, first at St. Ann’s and then retiring from St. Peters. 

Shirley was predeceased by her parents, Alfred and Margaret Steele, brother Harold, sister in laws, Norma and Jessie and a sister in infancy. She is survived by her husband, Jack, children, Larry (Bev), Susan (Michael), grandchildren, Stephan (Candace), Elise, great grandchildren, Teagan and Greyson, as well as cousins and nieces.

Visitation will be held on Thursday May 17 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Jenkens Funeral Home, with the funeral service to be held on Friday May 18 at 11:00 a.m. at First Wesley United Church, 130 North Brodie Street, with interment at Mountain View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Shirley can be made to First Wesley Milk Fund or the Dialysis Unit at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre.

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