Susan I. Talbot
Union — Susan Ivy Burns was born Jan. 10, 1957, in Rockland, the seventh child of Chester Howard Burns Sr. and Eva Dagmar Niemi Burns. Eight siblings made for an interesting life! She died at Sussman House in Rockport March 19, 2017.
After graduating from Medomak Valley High School in 1975, she worked at National Sea Products.
The next year, Susan moved to Fairfax, Va., to live with her sister Cindy and began a long career of jobs mostly dominated by men. She was a self-starter who could fix anything. Susan became a housing demolition employee, worked for Allied Van Lines and Paxton Moving Co. while in Virginia.
Ultimately, missing the north and chasing a dream to work with horses, she moved to work as a groom and “hot walker” at Saratoga, N.Y. As a young woman, she had a horse of her own, Princess Sherry Dee, which was the love of her life. After moving to New Hampshire, she worked at Neslab, a job she enjoyed. This is where she learned to use a forklift, a skill she used in most of the positions she would have after that. Shipping and receiving became the major focus of her future jobs at Van Baalen’s, Nautica, Manset Marine, Weatherend and Fisher Engineering (Douglas Dynamics). In all of her work career, Susan was a very hard worker and an excellent multi-tasker.
Susan was a very compassionate, kind and caring individual, always ready to help in any situation. She was fun-loving and always ready for a smile and a laugh.
In Susan’s spare time, she loved gardening, both flowers and vegetables, horseback riding, fishing, tent camping, volunteering at the Matthews Museum and the Beach to Beacon run, caring for her animals, and keeping her Ford Ranger, her pride and joy, in tip-top shape. The day her truck broke was the same day she discovered she had cancer.
While working at Fisher Engineering, which she loved, she saw two kittens outside trying to survive and knew she had to help them before winter. So, Ebony and Oreo ended up at her home in Union along with her beagle, Speckle, and her flock of chickens. Her pets were important to her and they will greatly miss her, too.
In addition to her mother, Susan is survived by her brothers and sisters, Irene Hawes and her husband, Ron, Cynthia VanGaalen, Chester Burns Jr. and his wife, Jean, Karen Burns, Timothy Burns and his friend, Lyn, Theresa Henry, Angela Burns and her husband, John MacDonnell, Valerie Burns and her husband, Tom Belyea, and sister-in-law Cynthia P. Burns.
Also surviving Susan is an extended family, including her aunt and uncle, Arabelle and Ernie Duvoll; aunts Arlene Ross, Mary McCluskey and Armajean Burns; nieces and nephews Jon Hawes, Matthias Hawes, Jana Anderson, Scott Burns, Thomas Burns, Bridgett Burns, Alana Burns, Jonathan Burns, Andrew Henry, Arnold Henry, Amanda Nickles, Katie Boynton; and many cousins. Susan was proud of her Finnish heritage and will be remembered by Jarno Itaniemi and many other relatives in Finland and Michigan.
Susan was predeceased by her father, her brothers-in-law, Bill VanGaalen and Arthur Henry, her dear aunt Annie Fitzgerald, grandparents and uncles Reginald Burns Sr., Keith Burns and a cousin, Pam Grysteed.
Visiting and remembrance of Susan’s life will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland, where a service will begin at 5 p.m. The Rev. Linda Campbell Marshall will officiate. Private interment will be at a later date at the Lakeview Cemetery in Union.
Donations in memory of Susan may be made to the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841 or the Finnish Heritage House, P.O. Box 293, South Thomaston, ME 04858.
To share a memory or story with Susan's family, please visit her Book of Memories at bchfh.com.