Margaret Burns dies at 102

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) — Margaret Lucille Burns, 102, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 17, 2020, at the Serenity House in Tomah.

Margaret L BurnsShe was born Dec. 22, 1918, in Hazel Green, WI, to Roscoe (Ross) and Agnes (Heitkamp) Doyle. She married Earl Burns Sept. 1, 1936, at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church in Hazel Green. They farmed in rural Seneca until 1976 when they retired and moved to Onalaska, living at Brice Prairie. Margaret Moved to Pertzsch Manor, Onalaska, in 1994, where she was their first resident and made many friends there. She was there until 2020 when she lived with her daughter Margaret Mary Sage and granddaughter Tara Sage.

She is survived by sister-in-law Rosemary Doyle; daughters Shirley Byers, Marlene Lumsden, Margaret Mary Sage; sons John (Linda) Burns, Patrick (Nadine) Burns; daughter-in-law Kay Burns; many nieces and nephews; nine grandchildren, Raymond (Donna) Lumsden, Dawn (Jim) Hallaman, Lori Lumsden (Greg Tyner), Tracie (Jonathan) Brandes, Luke Burns, Crystal (Dave) Held, Tara Sage, Melanie (Louis) Woyak, Justin (Lia) Burns; great-grandchildren, Ryan (Rebekka) Lumsden, Steve Lumsden, Brooke Hallaman, Haylee (Kyle) Trumm, Caitlyn Brandes (Calli Garber), Nathan Brandes (Allie Watters), Michael Brandes (Kari Dremsa), Graham Held, Megan Held, Aaron Woyak, Sydney Woyak, Kabryn Burns and Grady Burns; great-great-grandchildren, Layla Brandes, Lynlee Brandes, Arabella Brandes-Trumm, Malinda Trumm, Sophia Trumm, Bristol Bray, Brooklyn Bray and  Bryce Brandes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Earl; brothers Edmund, John and James Doyle; sisters Bernice Leifker and Agnes Ramaker; daughter Kathleen; son Michael; sons-in-law Joseph Lumsden and Russell Sage, and grandson Terry Byers.

Margaret was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Seneca and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Onalaska for many years. Margaret was a great cook, and we will all miss her homemade noodles and chicken along with her Mandarin Angel Pie. She loved all her family and always looked forward to family gatherings, including her 100th birthday party.

The family wants to thank Margaret Mary and Tara Sage for their loving care of Margaret. Also, thanks to Justin Burns for his many visits to brighten her days.

A private family funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home, Tomah. A graveside service will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Seneca, WI.

Online condolences can be offered to the family by visiting