Obituary of Irene M. Burns
Irene Duncanson Burns, known to many as Rene, passed away at the age of 94 on November 8, 2023, at Ridgefield Crossings, in Ridgefield, Connecticut, surrounded by her loving daughters.
Irene was born on March 29, 1929 in Astoria Queens, NY to the late John B. Duncanson and Ellen R. Duncanson. She was also predeceased by her sister Ruth and her brother David who was a big part of her life growing up.
Irene met her soul sisters, Millie Austin and Marian Vella, in grade school who would remain by her side throughout all their lives. The three amigos graduated from the William Cullen Bryant High School in Astoria, Queens, NY.
Irene was an accomplished Scottish Highland Dancer who competed in many Highland Games during her youth. She even danced for the famous aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart. Her Scottish heritage meant so much to her and she passed that love of Scotland on to her children and grandchildren.
She worked all her young life in the family’s bakery, the Balmoral Scotch Bakery in Astoria, Queens, New York. After her graduation, Irene worked as a secretary at the United Nations in New York City with her friend, Joan Stone who invited her to a New Year’s Eve party where she met the love of her life, and eventually married Harry Edward Burns on May 18, 1952.
Joan and her husband, Niels ‘Bubby’ became lifelong friends and introduced them to Armonk, NY where they built a house and raised their four daughters. Later they moved to Carmel, New York.
She was an active, and I do mean ACTIVE member of the Armonk United Methodist Church, where she sang in the church choir and was the church secretary for many years. She had a vibrant social life, spending lots of time with The Buck Hill Gang: a group of friends from the neighborhood who routinely had dinner parties and went on golfing vacations together.
As her daughters grew up, Irene went back to work as an office manager for the Fields & Kulwin dental practice in Armonk and then she moved on to American Can Company, which became James River Corporation where she rose through the ranks to become a Graphics Project Manager.
After her retirement, Irene and Harry started spending more and more time in their home on Loon Lake in the Adirondacks of New York, on Marco Island, Florida, or cruising with their friends. We can all aspire to have a life like Irene and Harry had.
Most recently, Irene lived at Ridgefield Crossings Assisted Living residence in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she was loved and cared for by many incredible people, right up to the moment of her passing.
She is survived by her children, Ellen Rohrer (Charlie), Donna Ohberg, Alison Mastroianni (Steve) and Kyle Dzurica (John); her grandchildren, Jamie Simoes (Marcony), Matthew Rohrer (David Purdy), Haley Rohrer, Heather Savage (Don), Lindsay Mastroianni (Scott Morosky), Kristen Ohberg (Dan Broderick), Harry James Dzurica, John D. Dzurica, Andrew Dzurica, and Robin Dzurica; her great-grandchildren: Addison Savage, Peyton Savage, Luke Savage, and Ryan Morosky; and her nieces, Arlene Duncanson Taylor and Doreen Duncanson Kerwin.
There will be a gathering at the Clark Associates Funeral Home, 4 Woods Bridge Road, Katonah, New York 10536 on Sunday, November 12th from 2-4 pm. The funeral service will be at the Katonah United Methodist Church, 5 Bedford Road, Katonah, New York 10536 on Monday, November 13th at 10 am, followed by the burial at Middle Patent Rural Cemetery, 64 Middle Patent Road, Armonk, New York 10504.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online at www.stjude.org.