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Martha J. Burns

July 22, 1950 ~ May 23, 2018 (age 67)

Martha Jane Burns, age 67, of Gaylord passed away May 23, 2018 while vacationing in Maui, Hawaii. She was born in Saginaw, MI to parents Mary (O’Reilly) and Stewart Smith.


In 1968, she married the love of her life, Bill Burns. Martha and Bill’s relationship was rooted in mutual admiration and the deep love they shared for each other and their children. Martha graduated from Michigan State University in 1998 with a Masters in Social Work and spent much of her professional career as a social worker with a passion for child welfare. She was deeply devoted to her faith and personal spiritual development. But above all, Martha loved her family and friends deeply. She was warm, funny, authentic, uplifting, and, most importantly, she was fun! She fully embraced her retirement by watching late-night movies with her grandchildren, becoming a Certified Spiritual Director through the Dominican Consultation Center, tending her flower garden, volunteering her time as well as her wisdom, and traveling with her husband and good friends. She will be remembered for being fashionably late, “rack slapping” for a good bargain, and for always taking the interesting side road instead of the main street.


Martha is survived by her loving husband, Bill, her children Bill (Julie) Burns, Anna (Zach) Lovelace, and Emily (Mark) Krull, grandchildren Calvin, Theodore, Olivia, Alaina, and Graham, good friend Paige Allyn, and siblings Marybeth (John) Lantz, Stewart (Carol) Smith, Mark (Julie) Smith, and Margaret (Michael) Kent, along with many nieces and nephews.


Martha’s family will visit with friends from 4:00-8:00 PM Friday, June 1, 2018 at Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service with a Scripture Service at 6:00 PM.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, June 2, 2018 at St. Mary Cathedral, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM. 


In lieu of flowers, those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions to  Otsego Community Foundation or River House Shelter in Grayling. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at