Helena – Margaret M. Burns, 64, passed away peacefully at her home, with her family by her side on Saturday November 2, 2013. Arrangements are entrusted to the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop.
Margaret was born on February 7, 1949 in Massena, daughter of the late Joseph and Mildred (Terry) LaForce. She received her education at Madrid – Waddington Central School and then at Massena School of Business. On March 29, 1969, she married Francis W. Burns at St. Joseph’s Church in Massena with Monsignor Brown celebrating. They shared a strong marriage of 44 years filled with unconditional love. Truly a marriage made in heaven.
For a period of time, Margaret babysat for her nieces, worked as a nurse’s aid at Massena Memorial Hospital and at the Ogdensburg Psychiatric Center. She found her place at the W. B. Goodnow Agency in Winthrop as a Customer Service Representative for 28 years. She retired in June 2012.
Margaret‘s life endeavor was tending to her family and being with them as their lives unfolded day to day. Hockey, lacrosse or watching the races at Frogtown, were things she never missed. She loved life and showed it with her smile that she lived it to the fullest. Margaret was a good hearted, strong-spirited friend who always tried to make the best of any situation. Anyone whose heart she touched, she left indelible memories of her smile and laughter.
She was the first female firefighter in St. Lawrence County as a member of the Helena Fire Department and was an interior fire fighter. She served as Treasurer of the fire department and was a member of the Auxiliary. Margaret served on the St. Lawrence Central Board of Education; LBSH Board of Directors; first female of the Brasher Town Board; a member of the Democratic Club and Tri Town Trailblazers Snowmobile Club. She was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church in Hogansburg and a member of the Altar and Rosary Society.
She will remain forever in the hearts of her husband, Frank; daughter and son in law, Susan and Michael Arquiett of Brasher Falls; and son, Aaron Burns of Charlotte, NC; mother, Elma LaForce of Massena; grandchildren, Erin Graves of Florida, Zachary, Styles and Lukas Arquiett of Brasher Falls; siblings, John and Kathy LaForce of Chase Mills, Agnes Height of Pulaski, Maryann and Lloyd Seguin of Chase Mills, Millie and Terry Castagnier of Bedford, IN, Cathy and Rick Littlejohn of Louisville, Joseph LaForce of Chase Mills, Michael LaForce of Massena, Christopher and Amy LaForce of NC, Edward and Ann LaForce of TX, Patricia and Mike Bowman of Baldwinsville, Judy and Ernest Olin of Canton and Rosemary and Scott Miller of Madrid; many nieces, nephews and cousins. One sister, Jane LaForce predeceased her.
Visitation will be Monday from 4 - 8 p.m. and Tuesday from 1 - 4 and 6 - 9 p.m. at the Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop. Margaret’s Mass of Christian Burial and Celebration of Life will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick Church in Brasher Falls. Burial will be in St. Patrick Cemetery in Brasher Falls.
Following Margaret’s wishes: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Lawrence Central Boy’s Varsity Hockey, Attn: Tim Wagner, P. O. Box 307, Brasher Falls, NY 13613 or Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, Inc., 6805 US Hwy 11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
Memories and condolences can be shared with Margaret’s family at www.hammillfh.com