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SCARBOROUGH — Joan Kathleen Burns, 85, of Falmouth, died Dec. 24 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House.
She was born in Southport, England, on Feb. 9, 1923, the only child of Ellen (Haines) and Alfred Smith.
Shortly after graduating from high school, World War II began and she worked in the ammunitions department of Vicars Aircraft. She also delivered mail via bicycle.
She met the love of her life, Lawrence F. Burns Sr., at a dance, and married him on Feb. 8, 1945, in Southport, England.
They eventually came to the U.S. aboard the Queen Mary along with their 1-year-old son.
They settled in Massachusetts and raised a family of three children before coming to Maine. She enjoyed dancing, knitting, art, reading, traveling, camping, yard sales and antiques. Her interests in antiques lead her to form her own business, JB & Sons Antiques, which she owned for over 25 years.
Her greatest joy in life was that of wife, mother and grandmother. Always the quiet, gentle and unassuming proper English lady, she will be remembered for her strong opinions, acceptance of others, her unconditional love and nurturing of her family.
She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Lawrence F. Burns Sr. of Falmouth; her sons, Michael Burns of Lewiston, Lawrence F. Burns Jr. and his wife Maureen of Ocala, Fla.; her daughter, Joanne Wheeler and her husband Dennis of Pownal; her grandchildren, Christine Doyle, Lawrence F. Burns III, Robin Verge, Jennifer Beal, Megan Wheeler and Benjamin Wheeler; and her great-grandchildren, Kyle, Dylan, Elizabeth and Wes.
Memorial services were held earlier this week.
Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Charities of Maine, 307 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101.
Arrangements are by Lindquist Funeral Home, Yarmouth.
Memorial condolences may be expressed at mem.com.