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BURNS, Sister Joan

1950 – 2009

Sister Joan Burns of the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis died unexpectedly in Calgary, on Friday, November 27, 2009 at the age of 59 years.

Joan was born in Regina, SK and entered the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis in December 1972. She received her initial religious formation at Newman Theological College in Edmonton AB. Joan received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Religious Education from Seattle University. Sister Joan taught at St. Mary’s Junior High School in Medicine Hat (1980-2004) and was director of St. John’s Senior Care Home in Calgary (2004-2008). Joan is mourned by the members of her religious community, her family, colleagues, students, and friends.

Joan is survived by her sister Shirley (Tom) Mulligan; brother Patrick (Val) and her sister-in-law Carol Burns of Regina; brother John (Jackie) of Calgary; and sister Maureen (Anil) McVeigh of Red Deer; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joan was predeceased by her parents Basil (1988) and Dorothy (2006); and her brother Bob (2003).

She will always be lovingly remembered for her faith, sense of humor and compassionate love for those whose lives she touched.

Rest in peace Joan, as you so often said to us in our time of need: “There now, doesn’t the Lord take care of His own.”

Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (640 – 19th Avenue N.W.) on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes in Joan’s honour may be made directly to Elizabeth House, P.O. Box 23173 (Mission RPO), Calgary, AB T2S 3B1, Telephone: (403) 228-9724.

In living memory of Sister Joan Burns, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Garvin and Colleen Morris :

    We were very saddened by the news of Joan’s passing. Joan has a special place in our hearts for her kind words and support at the time of Garvin’s dad’s passing. Colleen will always remember the way that Joan welcomed her into the family at the Morris Family Reunion. We regret that we can not attend the services on Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. God Bless,
    The Morris Family

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  2. Pam Bohnet (nee Lanz) :

    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Sister Joan. She was my homeroom teacher in grade 7 at St. Mary’s. She was an inspiration. I strived hard to do well to not only impress her, but to get a chance to read the 10 cent comics at the back of the room!! Even though I haven’t seen her in many years, I will never forget her. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My parents Ben and Penny Lanz sent her Christmas cards.

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  3. Bev Brooks (Wenger) :

    Pat, Maureen, Shirley & John,

    So Sorry to hear of your loss. Hope you can take comfort in the many family memories. Words are inadequate at times like these. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time of loss and love.

    Sincerely
    Bev Brooks (Wenger)

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  4. Heather Irvine :

    I had the privilege of teaching with Sr. Joan at St. Mary’s for four years. I will never forget Sr. Joan’s fantastic sense of humour, her strong faith and her love of teaching. I have become a better teacher and a better person from knowing her!

    Heather Irvine

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  5. Shannon English :

    Sr. Joan was my grade 7 homeroom teacher too and later I had the privilege of teaching with her St. Mary’s School. I too remember most her sense of humour, her wit, her love of teaching and her strong faith. I was blessed to have known her and have her touch my life. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.

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  6. Sr. Joan was a colleague, a good friend, and an inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to work with her.
    My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.

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  7. I had the privilege of having been taught by Sr. Joan and working along side of her as a colleague at St. Mary’s. I liked to refer to her as “The nun on the run” as she always made sure my/others day was moving in the right direction. I was blessed to have known Sister and I am sure so many others as well.

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  8. Bob & Gayle Kidby :

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. Joan was a wonderful lady. Our sincere condolences are with the whole family.

    Bob and Gayle Kidby

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  9. I wish to pass on my deepest condolences to Sister Joan’s family as well as the Sisters of Charity of St. Louis over the loss of Sister Joan. Hardly a waking moment has gone by that I have not thought of Sister Joan since her passing.
    It is difficult to find the words to express the kind of person Sister Joan was. You had to experience her. The 24 years that I knew Sister as a colleague and friend are filled with so many memories of Sister’s faith, compassion, gifted teaching and her legendary wit and sense of humour. Medicine Hat Catholic Teachers will be naming our scholarship for students entering the Faculty of Education in her memory. However, for those of us who hope were counted by Sister as her friends, we will never forget her, and will always be grateful for having the privilege and honour to have shared some part of her life.
    Ray West
    President – Medicine Hat Catholic Teachers

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  10. Shirley, John, Pat, and Maureen: Our whole family was deeply saddened by the news of Joan`s untimely death, even though we won`t be able to be with you our thoughts and prayers will. We have many great memories of Joan even though we live so far apart. Cousins always, The Currie Family

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  11. Greg Gronning :

    I’m very sorry to hear about Sister Joan. She was my home room teacher back in grade 7, and was probably one of the few teachers who had a genuine care about me. When I was sick in the hospital back then, she was the one and only teacher to stop in and see how I was doing, and I really appreciated that. I had alot of respect and appreciation for her for taking the time out of her day. I think it was little things like that, that makes her missed. My sincere condolences on her passing. She will definately be missed!

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  12. Margaret Devine :

    Sr. Joan was my friend and colleague as well as Godmother to my daughter Colleen. Words are inadequate to express how much Joan’s friendship and support meant to me . She was someone who gave of her time and talents selfishlessly and will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad time.

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  13. Kathleen Beierbach :

    Sister Joan & I taught together our first year at St. Michael’s School. She was so warm, caring and full of fun. Later on, she taught my daughter Amy at St. Mary’s. Joan & I were in touch a few times over the years. When my mother died 15 years ago, Joan came over and spent an evening with me, visiting and helping me to deal with my loss. When my brother died suddenly 4 years ago, I got a card and personal note in the mail from Joan that meant so much to me. Sr. Joan had such a strong faith – she was truly an amazing lady. I loved her. She will be so sadly missed.

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  14. I can honestly say Sister Joan had a huge impact on my life when she was my teacher at St. Mary’s. She was an amazing person.

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  15. Susan Gallagher :

    Shirley, I just found out about Joan’s passing and wanted to let you know that You and all of your family are in my prayers. Although I didn’t know Joan, I could see how much you loved her. My sincere condolences.

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