Judith Burns

12/05/2013 8:06 PM |

Judith Burns, a longtime library and teachers’ aide with the Southold School District, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, following a sudden illness. She passed away at her home, surrounded by her family. She was 75.

Judy was born Oct. 22, 1938, in Brooklyn to Marjorie and William McDermott. The family moved to Westbury when Judy was 12.

Judy graduated from Westbury High School and attended Ohio Wesleyan University to study journalism, but love kept her from returning after her first year. While home from school, she met her future husband, Paul Burns. Their parents lived across the street from each other, and Paul and Judy were introduced at a clambake at the McDermott home. They were married in Westbury in 1958, and Judy later graduated from Woods Secretarial School. Paul and Judy celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in June of this year.

Judy had been a visible member of the Southold community for more than 40 years. She spent 22 years as a library and teachers’ aide at Peconic Primary and Southold High schools while Paul built his own business, Paul Burns Electric, still in operation today. Judy was also very active in providing volunteer services in the community. She often organized blood drives and was an active member of the Sunshine Society.

Judy and Paul retired in 1994 to fulfill a dream of traveling the country in their RV. Over the past 19 years, they visited all 50 states and every Canadian province. They also accomplished the amazing feat of visiting every National Park and were just beginning to retrace their steps to visit every state capital when Judy became ill.

When they weren’t on the road, Judy and Paul could be seen at every concert, recital and game in which their grandchildren were taking part.

Judy is survived by her husband; her sister, Carolyn Norklun of Southold; her three children, Cathleen Wist and her husband, Ron, of Berlin, Md., Bob Burns and his wife, Liz, of Southold, and Nancy Fisher of Orient; her niece, Jane Krupski, and her husband, Matthew, of Southold; and her five grandchildren, John Wist and his wife, Lauren, of Laurel, Md., Ben Fisher of Orient, Marc Wist of Berlin, Md., and Rachel and Billy Burns of Southold.

The family would like to express how grateful they are for the support of the community. Over the past couple of days they have heard many stories about how Judy and Paul have been a picture of a beautiful marriage and about the positive impact they have had in the community as loving neighbors and friends.

Funeral services were held Dec. 7 at Southold Presbyterian Church, officiated by the Rev. Dr. Peter Kelley with the assistance of the Rev. Ben Burns. Lauren Sisson performed a solo.

Arrangements were handled by DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Southold Presbyterian Church or Southold Free Library.

This is a paid notice.