In Memory of




Obituary for Sister Laurene Burns,O.S.C.

Sister Laurene Burns, O.S.C.

Saginaw, Michigan

Beloved sister, aunt, great aunt, great-great aunt, and friend, passed away Saturday January 16, 2021. Age 92 years. Daughter of the late James and Gertrude (Fetter) Burns, Laurene was born July 10, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio. She entered the Poor Clare community in Canton, Ohio in 1949. In 1953 she was part of a group sent to establish a new Poor Clare community in Washington, DC. In 1967, she transferred to the Poor Clare community in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In community she served as cook, gardener, leader of the community and the novice director. In 1991 she was one of the four sisters who accepted Bishop Ken Untener’s invitation to bring the Poor Clare community to Saginaw. In 2015 she moved to Community Village assisted living care in Saginaw, MI.

To know Sister Laurene was to expect abundance in everything she did, whether creating a soufflé for four that would feed ten friends, to wrapping Christmas gifts that looked like wedding gifts for the royal family.

She had a gift for telling a good story. She often told of coming home from a doctor’s appointment as a youth. She stopped to buy an ice cream cone which for some reason she was not supposed to have. A determined child, she boarded a bus home. The bus jerked to a stop and her ice cream fell into a lady’s fancy brimmed hat. When Laurene saw the ice cream melting through the lady’s hat, she immediately got off the bus -- 3 miles before her stop. She said that if only she could have admitted what happened to the lady’s hat, she could have saved herself a long walk home.

Her memory will be cherished by her sisters, Laura Hammel, and Dianne Doughty in Saginaw, Michigan. She will also be remembered by her Poor Clare sisters in Rochester, MN and communities in Korea.

She will be missed by family members as well, especially her sisters Alicia Burns, Kathleen McCrossin and Camilla Burns, SNDdeN; brother John Burns; sister-in-law Pat Burns; and leaves many nieces and nephews from many generations. Sister Laurene was preceded in death by two sisters, Veronica Burns and Eileen Burns; three brothers, Francis (Colleen) Burns, Leo Burns and James Burns; and a sister-in-law, Lilliana Burns. A special thanks to Community Village and American Hospice and Health Care for the love and care given.

Due to COVID restrictions a private funeral service will take place with burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the Sisters of St. Clare. Please share thoughts, memories and condolences at