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Catherine Burns

October 4, 1931 ~ July 3, 2020 (age 88)

Life Story

Catherine (Nancy) Lanette Burns

October 4, 1931 - July 3, 2020

Mrs. Catherine (Nancy) Lanette Malone-Burns. Age 88, passed away on Friday, July 3, 2020 at her home.  Services: Visitation with family will be from 4:00pm-6:00pm, Sunday, July 12, 2020 at Toombs Funeral Home.  Funeral Services will be held on Monday, July 13, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at City Heart Ministries, 2640 Peck Street, Muskegon Heights, MI.  The family requires persons attending wear masks and note that social distancing will be observed. 

Mrs. Burns was born on October 4, 1931, in Magnolia, AR., to the union of Henry Malone and Clara Moore-Malone.  She is the second oldest of their ten (10)  children.  Catherine (Nancy) graduated from Columbia County High School, Columbia County, AR in 1950 and attended Philander-Smith College.  On November 10, 1956, she was united in marriage to Melvin C. Burns Sr.; to their union, five (5) children were born.

Nancy was taught a strong work ethic by her parents, she worked diligently most of her life.  She was remembered by many as a hall monitor at Muskegon Heights High School and a teacher’s aide at Central and Lindbergh Elementary Schools.  She was also known as the “Scout Lady” for her years of work as a paraprofessional with the Boy Scouts of America.

Catherine led a full and active life that included: teaching Sunday school at New Jerusalem Baptist Church early in life, serving actively as a member, deacon’s wife, Sunday School Teacher and Missionary Society member at New Hope Baptist Church.  She was an active member of City Heart Ministries until her passing.  

For many years she was a member and served as Worthy Matron of the Lady Esther Chapter #30, International F & A Masons.  She was also Co-chair of the Muskegon Debutante Commencement Cotillion Club.  Her activities as a parent were broad and far reaching.  She was active in girl scouts and boy scouts, parent teacher’s associations, band parents, youth football and any other activity or event in which her children or grandchildren participated.

Catherine was well renowned as a seamstress.  Her versatility through the years ranged from a last minute repair of a seam or hemming a pair of pants to drawing or redesigning a pattern or new garments.  She viewed her ability to sew as a gift from God and a means to be a blessing to other people.

Catherine continued to be a life-long learner.  She enjoyed traveling, poetry, making ceramics and gardening. Many of her family and friends have been gifted with her colorful and meticulous creations. As one who stayed connected and fully embraced  her relationships, mom possessed the passion of a true church and community mother.  

Catherine leaves behind wonderful memories with six (6) children:  Stacy L. Burns, Greenville, SC; Pastors Bernadette (Bishop Dwight) Elijah, Florence, SC; Elder Stanley Christopher (Christina) Burns Sr., Tampa, FL; Pastor Melvin C. Burns II, Muskegon Heights, MI; Deacons Bonita (Hasson) Jackson, Muskegon, MI,;  John L. Burns, Muskegon, MI.  She also leaves behind Melvin Burns Sr’s children Charles (Pearlie) Woodward, Los Angeles, CA; Bertheda Walker, Shreveport, LA; Bertha (Marcelle) Scott, Birmingham, AL; Elaine Raglin, Muskegon, MI; and Lorraine Raglin, Muskegon, MI.  Two sisters, Martha (James)Marshall, Milwaukee, WI.; and Clara Herman, Muskegon, MI.  Four brothers: Hosea Malone, Muskegon, MI; Roy (Delores) Malone, Muskegon, MI; Anthony Malone Sr, Anderson, IN; and Ronald (Delisa) Malone, Palm Bay, FL, and one sister-in-law Ethel Burns, Carson, CA.  She  leaves behind grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, neighbors, friends and church members that will miss her presence in their lives.

Mother Catherine Burns was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin C. Burns Sr., her son James O. Malone,  her parents, Henry &  Clara Moore Malone, her sister Mattie Malone-Nason, two brothers Joseph and John (Tip)Malone, and her husband’s daughter Linda Strong Burt.    

Mom would say, "The Lord is still blessing me."

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Catherine Burns, please visit our floral store.


Open Viewing
July 12, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Toombs Funeral Home
2108 Peck St
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444

Celebration of Life
July 13, 2020

11:00 AM
City Heart Ministries
2640 Peck Street
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444

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