Shirley (Bussell) Burns

January 21st, 2017

Shirley L. Burns (Bussell), age 92 of Wilmington, MA and Welch Island, Gilford, NH, died peacefully with her family at her side on January 18, 2017.

Shirley was born and raised in Reading, MA; she was the cherished daughter of Howard and Paulina Bussell. Following graduation from Reading High School, Shirley attended Bryant and Stratton Secretarial School.

Through mutual friends, Shirley met her life’s long love, Charles Burns and they married in 1946. The couple moved their family to Wilmington in 1958, where they raised their two children Mike and Cassandra and Shirley became an active member of the Wilmington Women’s Club.

In 1966 following the death of her beloved husband Charles, Shirley went to work as a bookkeeper for the Town of Wakefield. Shirley was very dedicated to her job for many years and following her retirement she became very interested in genealogy. Shirley was able to trace her lineage to well prior to the Revolutionary War and this led her to joining the Mary Butler Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Shirley was a lifelong summer resident of her beloved Welch Island on Lake Winnipesaukee. Summers meant boating, swimming to the lighthouse, sunsets, hiking through the island, looking for deer, picking blueberries in the Forties, learning to sail at age 60, cutting brush, hundreds of games of Gin and enjoying her fellow island friends; especially Lloyd and Marian Eckholm who were her neighbors for almost 60 years. Shirley especially enjoyed a surprise 70th birthday party on the island with island neighbors, family and friends.

Shirley will be fondly remembered as a strong, independent woman who despite being widowed for 50 years lived life on her own terms surrounded by her family, neighbors, and friends.

Shirley was the beloved wife of the late Charles F. Burns, devoted mother of Michael Burns & wife Stephanie of Wilmington, MA and Cassandra Martin & her late husband Arthur of Ocala, FL. Loving grandmother of Christopher Burns & wife Maradith, Douglas Burns & wife Eileen, Jamie Burns & fiancé Keith Quigley, Jeanne Dascalos & husband David, Daniel Martin, and great-grandchildren McNally, Maclyn, Bryce, Zack, and Madeline. Cherished daughter of the late Howard E. and Paulina (Roberts) Bussell, dear sister of Howard A. Bussell of Brewster, MA.

Funeral services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations in Shirley’s memory may be made to Gilford Island Association, c/o Heidi Kephart, 296 Old Lake Shore Road, Gilford, NH 03249. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA.


6 Entries in Guest Book for “Shirley (Bussell) Burns”

  1. Elaine Hoff says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. May your mom rest in peace.

  2. Marvin Weiner says:

    Obviously a fantastic woman. May her memory be a blessing.

  3. mike murray says:

    to mr burns.

    im very sorry to hear about your mother. rip.

  4. Mike Champoux says:

    May you find peace in knowing she rests with the Lord. My most sincere condolences!

  5. Donna Wayman says:

    So sorry for your loss Mike. May your memories comfort you. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  6. marion mc bride guthrie says:

    my deepest sympathy to Shirley’s family. I enjoyed times of interesting conversation about welch Island with her. I was one of those Island kids in the mid 50’s and then spent wonderful times there with my own little children and husband through the years.

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