Maureen Burns

01/24/2012 4:12 PM |


Jan. 18, 1935 – Jan. 20, 2012

Maureen Burns joined her Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 20, 2012, at home, while being cared for by her husband, sister and children.

Maureen Burns

Maureen was born January 18, 1935, at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital to Anna and George Connelly. After George, a Scottish immigrant, died, Maureen was raised by Anna and Anna’s second husband, Max Siebenkas.

Maureen is survived by her husband of 55 years, the Rev. Ben Burns, with whom she shared her two passions – her church and her music. After marriage in Commack, N.Y., they lived in Hicksville and Woodbury, N.Y., where Ben had been appointed to the United Methodist churches. In 1961, he was appointed to the United Methodist Church in Southold, where they raised their children. They then moved to Hauppauge before settling into retirement in Greenport.

Maureen was a gifted musician and performer. She could move a crowd as a soprano singing Handel’s “Messiah” with a full orchestra, then have them humming along to Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” as she accompanied herself on the guitar. Maureen participated in a national tour with the Boris Goldovsky Opera Theater’s production of “La Bohème.” She also toured nationally under the direction of the prestigious piano team of Buck Whittamore and Jack Lowe. The Whit-Lo Singers provided entertainment for all musical tastes. Maureen was also a soloist with the Light Opera of Manhattan, particularly enjoying roles created by Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as soloing with the Long Island Choral Society and the North Fork Chorale. Along with Ben, she often performed Menotti’s opera “The Telephone.” She and Ben were mainstays in the Southold PTA talent show fundraiser, “Founder’s Follies.”

For most of her life, you knew where to find Maureen on Sunday morning – in the choir loft. In addition to singing in many East End churches, she performed regularly in Christian Scientist churches on the East End.
Maureen contributed much behind the curtain as well. In 1971 she was musical director of Southold High School’s performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” She also directed “Finian’s Rainbow” at the North Fork Community Theatre.

Maureen is survived by her sister and best friend Diana Hallock of Laurel, N.Y. Her sister Lynda St. Hilaire resides in Albuquerque, N.M.

In addition, Maureen leaves behind a son, Bradley, and two daughters, Beverly and Cheryl; sons-in-law Jim Sage and Jim Pryor; and four grandchildren, Shannon, Bailey, Sean and Chelsea.

Visiting hours took place Jan. 23 at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport. Services, conducted by the Rev. Jin Kim, were held at Southold United Methodist Church on January 24, with interment at Commack Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are invited to East End Hospice or a church of your choice.

This is a paid notice.